February Green Drinks with Visit McHenry County!


Green Drinks is held at Duke’s Alehouse & Kitchen from 5 pm until 7 pm, 110 N Main Street in Crystal Lake.  First Wednesday of each month.

Our Green Drinks guest for February 1st is Visit McHenry County. Visit McHenry County was started in August of 2005 as the McHenry County Convention and Visitors Bureau.  In 2014 the DBA Visit McHenry County was adopted.  The Purpose of Visit McHenry County is to encourage, enhance and promote tourism related business and special events in McHenry County; to further the promotion of tourism and publicity for the area; to promote McHenry County as a tourist destination throughout the state, regionally, nationally and internationally; and to protect and preserve the quality of life valued by its citizens. The mission states that Visit McHenry County will strive to create economic growth for McHenry County through effective marketing of its tourism product and supporting the development of new physical tourism products.

Visit McHenry County staff will be sharing information about how they promote ecotourism in McHenry County.

Jaki Berggren is the Executive Director.  She was first hired in 2009 as the Sales Manager and was promoted to Executive Director in 2012.  Jaki has been a resident of Huntley for nine years.

Kristine Austin is the Sales & Marketing Manager.  She was hired in November of 2016.  Kristine is a resident of Lake in the Hills and grew up in Johnsburg.


Silent Auction

We believe that ALL of our members are talented in some way! Maybe you are an artist, maybe you are a baker, or maybe you are just willing to offer a strong back. Over the years, the fundraising committee of the Defenders has asked for donations for the Silent Auction held as part of the Annual Meeting on March 12, and you have come through with some awesome pieces of art, glassware, books, crocheted blankets, etc.

This year we’d like to try and focus at least half of our offerings on services to encourage more interaction between our members and to reduce the amount of “stuff” in our lives.  We will still accept donations of plants, artwork, food items, etc. but we would like you to consider donating your time, experience, and/or knowledge as your donation.

Many of our members are not as strong as they used to be and would love to hire some “brawn” for an hour to complete a nagging project, or maybe they would bid on a couple of people to work together  on one of those projects! Your donation of time can be limited by weight restraints, location, time of year, etc.

For example, if you are an artist, you could donate a piece of your artwork, you could pair it with 30 minutes of your time to help the buyer find the best lighting in their house to hang the piece, or you could offer your artistic approach to decorating/ rearranging a room in their house, or even offer a 1-hour consultation and let them come up with a way to use your different perspective to their advantage.

If you are one of the people who could use the brawn, maybe you could offer a donation of fresh baked bread or pies for a special occasion, calligraphy for wedding invitations,  Sunday breakfast in your backyard, review of a will, or a shoreline fishing experience if you live along a river.

What about loaning out your guide services on the Nippersink since you have an extra kayak, driving to O’Hare or Midway for someone who has a small vehicle with no space for luggage, fixing one small electrical appliance to keep it out of the landfill, sewing on missing buttons or hemming a pair of pants, or knitting a pair of mittens to match their favorite coat?

The ideas are endless!  It’s possible that your donation will not be bid upon at this event but are appreciated nonetheless and maybe we will be able to come up with another way your skills can benefit the Defenders.

We would like to have all items and/or descriptions of services (and if you can create a flyer about your service donation, that would be great!) at the office by Monday, February 27th so the committee has time to organize.

Environmental Defenders’ to co-sponsor talk by local educator on a scientific expedition to Antarctica: HOMEWARD BOUND: Our Planet. In Your Hands.

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, McHenry County College Sustainability Center and…invite the public to a special presentation by Betty Trummel, retired District #47 educator, who has just returned from Antarctica.  On December 2, Betty and 75 other women in science from around the world set sail on a three-week science and leadership expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula.  The expedition, called Homeward Bound, took place on board a ship named Ushuaia, named after its home port in Argentina.

Betty will provide us the exciting details about the challenges and rewards of participating in science research and expeditions in the Earth’s southernmost continent and ocean.  She will talk about the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in working in this remote, harsh and unique environment and will also discuss how the Earth’s Polar regions are important areas for the study of climate change and how the ecosystems on both land and water are impacted by a warming Earth.  In addition, Betty will share a bit about her research and student trip to Arctic Svalbard this past summer.  She will have traveled from 79 degrees north to 65 degrees south in a matter of months!

When: Tuesday, January 24 at 7 PM.   Doors open at 6:30.

Where: Luecht Conference Center, McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Highway 14 in Crystal Lake.  Event is free to the public, but donations appreciated.