September 28th, 2009


Illinois wilderness survey

Today I got this message about the use of Illinois land for recreation and conservation. It talks about various activities on public and private land. Recently the state has cut funding for parks, which has caused a lot of problems. I encourage all Illinois residents (or people who visit here) to fill out this survey so the state will know what things are important to you.

As Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, I believe it
is important to hear from our constituents. I urge you to TAKE OUR ON-LINE SURVEY to tell us your opinions on important natural resources and outdoor
recreation policy issues. The survey asks your opinions about public access on land for recreational
activities, programming and recruiting for youth outdoor nature-related
activities, and options to fund conservation and outdoor recreation.

Answers are confidential, and will not be attributed to you. Survey
results will be presented at the Conservation Congress (a gathering of
Department constituents to develop policy recommendations for elected and
appointed officials) in October to inform the debate.

The survey closes on October 16 so don't delay. If you are a resident
of Illinois, we want to hear from you.

Yours in Conservation,
Marc Miller, Director
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

EDIT: I have a gardening poem that I'd like to share. If at least three people answer this survey and comment below after doing so, I'll post the poem.

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Personal Meme: Autumn Fruit

Autumn fruits include apples, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, and some types of raspberries. This meme explores your relationship with autumn fruits. You're welcome to reply in a comment, or use this meme on your blog, if you wish.

1) What is your favorite autumn fruit?
2) Have you ever visited an orchard or U-Pick farm to collect autumn fruits, and if so, what did you do?
3) Which autumn fruits, if any, do you grow yourself?
4) What foods based on autumn fruits, if any, do you enjoy cooking?
5) Where do you usually get your autumn fruits?
6) What is your favorite memory involving autumn fruits?

My answers:

1) Apples. I love them all, though.
2) Yes. We used to visit orchards to pick apples when I was little. Now we usually just buy bagged apples or cider at an orchard.
3) I have apples, pears, and yellow raspberries here. My persimmon trees are still too young to bear.
4) I make pie filling from apples and pears. Yellow raspberries go into ice cream or pies. Today I cooked some persimmon pulp for filling.
5) Some I grow, others I buy at orchards or farmers markets.
6) Gathering persimmons with my grandmother. There was a big persimmon tree in a lot across the alley from her house. We would take a grocery bag and fill it with persimmons, then go home and make pies or persimmon butter or just eat them fresh. It was one of my earlier lessons in food-gathering.