The Friends of Rocky Glen
KICKAPOO CREEK WATERSHED CONSERVATION AND NATURAL AREA
Vision and Mission
A natural area that promotes community engagement and wildlife habitat.
To protect the majority of the Kickapoo Creek Watershed for conservation and a natural recreation area.
- We will promote the value of this endeavor by education within the community
- Clean up the water quality of the creek and reduce the soil erosion that takes Illinois soil and pollution to the Gulf of Mexico (measured in nitrates, phosphorous and sediment).
- Provide recreation opportunities such as hiking, canoeing and bicycling.
- Work for sustainable farming practices and encourage farmers to reduce pesticides and nitrates.
- Work for sustainable urban lawn practices and encourage native plantings, reduced pesticides and nitrates.
- We will physically work in the existing natural areas to for greater native biodiversity and resiliency.
- We will collaborate with property owners, municipalities, County government, townships, fire districts, school districts, private and public community organizations, and individual citizens to find ways to protect and conserve the watershed as we promote wildlife habitat.
When this project is complete, we will have accomplished preservation of this unique geographical asset in a manner that promotes sustainable agriculture, recreation, community engagement and wildlife habitat.
Strategy One: Education
We will develop regular educational hikes, signage, public discussions slide show presentations, brochures and social media.
Strategy Two: Restoration and Habitat
- We will develop a ten year vision for the watershed encompassing recreational amenities, natural areas preservation and watershed healing opportunities. In tandem we will compile a list of site-specific flora / fauna inventories, geologic features and seek out opportunities to quantify levels of impairment in terms of soil quality, erosion burden and water pollution through citizen science and historic research.
- We will develop a land management plan that includes soil evaluation, measurable goals and methods. It will include specific locations, unique habitats, geological features and hiking / biking trails.
- We will schedule regular workdays
- We will recruit and train volunteers, seeking to develop a diversity of age, gender, cultural and economic background. We will encourage autonomy and science-based development.
Strategy Three: Collaboration
- We will build governmental, business and community support, including the farming community, for the creation of the Kickapoo Creek Watershed Conservation Area. This process will include increasing sustainable agricultural acreage, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.
- We will seek letters of support from community groups to demonstrate their commitment to our process.
- We will identify areas of increased opportunity in these areas and provide support for their enaction.
- We will seek involvement of technically skilled agencies to develop the KCWCA Land Management Plan.
- The general areas of focus will be:
- The seven miles of streamway from Jubilee College State Park and Historic Site southeast to Wildlife Prairie Park plus the final thirteen miles of Creek to the confluence with the Illinois River.
- Our first area of concentration will be the three miles of Creek between Pottstown Bridge to Rocky Glen Park and the adjacent Greater Peoria Sanitary District property known as Horseshoe Bottoms.
- We will research, develop and promote the Kickapoo Creek Watershed using a geopark model as defined by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network
UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history and society today, UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area. The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high-quality training courses is stimulated as new sources of revenue are generated through geotourism, while the geological resources of the area are protected.
To accomplish this goal, we will
- Recruit professional biologists, geologists, naturalists and agencies to help us with this project.
- Locate and research possible Geosites within the watershed.
- Develop education / interpretative materials for the proposed Geosites.
- Map out a route for a vehicle tour of the Geosites within the Geopark.
- Map out hiking trails within the Geosites
- Promote geotourism of the Kickapoo Creek Watershed.