Plan to get wet at Fox River volunteer cleanup day
This might be the most important aspect of a notice about an upcoming Fox River volunteer cleanup day along the riverbanks: Organizers tell you to wear boots or shoes you don't mind getting wet.
Volunteers will meet at Ferson Creek Park in St. Charles along Route 31 a half-hour before the event starts to pick up supplies and get instructions.
Environmentalists have been telling us for years that our rivers endure thousands of tons of trash each year.
John Rabchuk of the River Corridor Foundation said if last year were any indication, volunteers would be busy again this year.
"Last year's efforts resulted in hundreds of pounds of trash being removed, helping beautify the river as well as improve the habitat for wildlife," Rabchuk said. "This is a great opportunity for families to get outdoors and involved with a visible way to help our community."
For those curious about what they might encounter along the riverbanks, the American Rivers organization posted a blog two years ago citing the five most common things found during river cleanups.
Not surprisingly, the first on the list was cigarette butts. The site noted cigarette butts account for 30% of all litter in the U.S., and it was the top offender along our riverbanks.
Second on the waste list were plastic bottles and bottle caps, followed by food packaging, plastic bags and aluminum cans.
The Fox River cleanup day organizers are setting up landside and waterside pickup teams while also welcoming those in canoes and kayaks. Interested volunteers can come in groups or as individuals.
In addition to dressing properly for the weather, participants are encouraged to bring sturdy gloves, a mask and, of course, those shoes or boots.
The Conservation Foundation is supplying trash bags, trash "grabbers," and other tools. Walk-ups are welcome, but preregistration is helpful at friendsofthefoxriver.org.
As part of a major Conservation Foundation effort along the entire length of the Fox River, the local River Corridor Foundation is taking cleanup responsibility along the public riverbanks from Red Gate Bridge in St. Charles south to the border with Geneva.
And one other thing about those shoes that maybe could go without saying, but here it is. Organizers say they should be closed-toed shoes.
Alex Tyler has been recently recognized as a Franchise Rockstar by Franchise Business Review for his philanthropic efforts to bring swim and water safety instruction to kids in need. Tyler is the owner of Goldfish Swim School in Glen Ellyn and St. Charles. Through his fundraising and volunteer efforts, Alex has extended his passion for water safety to the families of Gales Point, Belize.
- Courtesy of 2 Moms Media, LLC
Gets a rock-star rating:
If asked where Gales Point is located, most of us would shrug and take a wild guess.
Alex Tyler, owner of the Goldfish Swim School franchises in St. Charles and Glen Ellyn, would not be one of those stumped by such a question.
For the past seven years, Tyler has traveled to Central America to provide swim lessons for children in Gales Point, located on the Southern Lagoon of Belize. It's an isolated community of fewer than 300 people who struggle for basic health and education needs.
Tyler's volunteer program in Belize through Goldfish Swim School brought more than 20 members of the company to help provide basic needs.
Beyond teaching swimming, the team raised funds to construct homes, build a playground at the local elementary school and do repair work at the school.
That type of experience is rewarding enough, but many of us are finding out about it because the Franchise Business Review tabbed Tyler for one of its "Franchise Rock Stars" honors because of his philanthropic efforts. The franchise publication annually recognizes franchise operators in various categories that highlight everything from business success to community contributions.
"My work in Gales Point, Belize is so meaningful to me because not only does it align with what we do in terms of Goldfish's core mission, but it's been a way for me to connect with others in my schools and throughout the organization in a more meaningful way," Tyler stated in a notice about the rock star honor.
Partners for baseball:
One way to keep a youth sports organization growing, while helping the kids participating in improving their skills, is to find a partner that can help make that happen.
Wasco Baseball has established a partnership with Top Pick Athletics in Sugar Grove, and it's one of those agreements that could have a long-term positive effect.
Wasco Baseball has long had a good reputation in the area, especially when it comes to building travel teams that participate in area tournaments.
It's been fairly common to see the rosters of high school baseball teams dotted with young players who cut their baseball chops with Wasco Baseball in the summer and fall seasons.
Top Pick Athletics is a 15,000-square-foot operation for baseball, softball and other sports, featuring sports training and team trainers.
We have our popcorn:
We can be annoyed with our state's politics and its other shortcomings, and rightfully so. But we do have this: The Kane County Farm Bureau tells us that Illinois ranks third in the nation for popcorn production. It makes sense, of course, considering popcorn is the state's official snack food.
Nebraska and Indiana are the top two, and Illinois actually appears to be sort of lumped with Iowa and Ohio somewhere near that third spot.
The downside to this? I haven't had popcorn in a few years now. The greatest of all snacks turned on me as I got older, and my internal plumbing doesn't want popcorn churning in the system any longer.
That would hurt:
It definitely is difficult to envision Friday nights at this time of year without high school football games.
There may be an upside to this, at least for teams that don't play on artificial turf in their home stadiums.
The ground is so hard now from the dry August we've had that it would certainly not feel good to get tackled and thrown down on it.
It would have to feel no different to get smashed on concrete or asphalt. So, we'll wait for late winter and early spring to give a football season a try.
That seems to be a long shot as well, and frozen ground may not feel any better. It's all just another sales point for artificial turf, it seems.