Category Archives: Member Events

Live Webcast with Al Gore and Documentary Film



Live webcast with Al Gore and local screening of documentary film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, is OCTOBER 26 AT MCHENRY COUNTY COLLEGE. Doors open at 5:15 and webcam begins promptly at 5:45 followed by screening and discussion.

Volunteer Appreciation Event

On Sunday, October 15 at 2PM, please join us at the annual
Volunteer Appreciation Event.
If you have volunteered with The Environmental Defenders for an hour, a day or ongoing on a regular basis, we would like to celebrate YOU and all that you do.   Each one of our volunteers adds up to the whole that makes The Environmental Defenders what it is today: a vital conservation organization that makes real change and progress toward a healthier McHenry County. 
This year, we return to Sterne’s Woods & Fen in Crystal Lake for a group tour ride through the woods followed by a fire and treats.  John Fiorina, Manager of The CL Nature Center and Natural Resources with the Crystal Lake Park District, will be there to do some special Dutch oven cooking.  Our tour leader is Steve Byers, who directs all the restoration work of the fen where a hydrological restoration project was completed last winter.  Steve is also Natural Areas Resource Specialist at the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and a member of The Environmental Defenders.  Steve will highlight the special qualities of this natural area. “Sterne’s Woods & Fen became an Illinois State Nature Preserve in 1994 to preserve and protect its unique ecology. A fen is a rare type of wetland in which cold groundwater that is high in calcium and magnesium seeps to the surface.  The unique water chemistry supports plants that grow nowhere else.  Sterne’s Fen is home to at least 10 rare or endangered plant species.” This is a special place to celebrate special people.
Please rsvp to by October 13.  On Sunday, October 15

, please meet at the outdoor pavilion (5617 Hillside Drive) at 2PM and dress appropriately for weather that day.   Hope to see you then!


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.

It’s Not Too Late to Make a Year-End Charitable Contribution!

You can make a donation right now through PayPal or mail a check before the end of the year to:

110 S Johnson St, Ste 106
Woodstock IL 60098

Greetings to all of you!  Whether you have been with us for decades, years or are new to our organization, know that each & every one of you is an essential part of the work & successes of the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.  You are the energy & force that keeps our organization going!  Thank you for all that you do.

As members & volunteers, you commit daily to protecting & preserving our natural world & educating our community about the value of a healthy environment.  Because of that commitment, we have an influential voice out there in McHenry County.  To take advantage of this, we have been busy growing & changing to make our efforts more impactful. In addition to the annual events that we do such as our Earth Day Celebration, documentary screenings, County Fair booth, It’s Our River Day, fundraising & member events, & many more, we have some big accomplishments to highlight.  We ask for your continued support through an end-of-the-year gift to help us keep building on these accomplishments.

  • Recycling: We organized drives around the county keeping tens of thousands of pounds of waste out of the landfills, including electronics.
  • Water & Natural Resources Protection: We planted hundreds of plants for monarchs & other pollinators this year at four sites in the county.  We also advocated for a Water Resources Specialist position at the County level & educated our governmental bodies about the dangers of coal tar sealants.
  • Styrofoam Recycling Project: The technology for Styrofoam recycling changed quickly, so our efforts had to shift quickly as well.  We began a crowd sourcing program to raise money to continue our successful Styrofoam recycling project.
  • The Green Spot: Our little store has done big things this year, collecting & reselling books to raise thousands of dollars to help keep our lights on & computers humming to make sure we can communicate our work to you & the public.
  • BYOBag: Our efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags has gone big too, helping 20 municipalities & the county spread the word about not using paper or plastic when shopping, & helping the City of Woodstock to celebrate BYOB for a whole year!
  • Strategic Planning: This year we wrote a 3-year Strategic Plan that includes the hiring of a Part-Time Executive Director.  This is a big step for our organization, as it will allow us to have someone specifically designated for public outreach.

As you plan for your year-end giving, please consider a generous donation to the Defenders.  We are asking for your financial help to move us along in our goals.  Please let your dollars follow your heart!

And to keep abreast of all that your donation is accomplishing, please “Like” us on Facebook, read our quarterly newsletter – “EarthConnect”, check out our eNews in your inbox every Wednesday, & visit our website at!