Picture perfect: Conservation foundation initiates photo challenge


With summer on its way and the school year ending amidst the chaos of this COVID-19 pandemic, are you wondering how you’re going to keep your kids occupied, keep them interested in the world about them and to learn something at the same time?

The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF) might just have the answer, a really good answer, for your question.

This month, JDCF is initiating a photo contest, the focus upon which is you and your family.

With swimming pools closed and youth sports leagues and activities put on hold, this is the picture-perfect opportunity–literally and figuratively–to venture out into the country and visit JDCF’s wonderful properties such as Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary, Schurmeier Teaching Forrest, Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve, Wapello Land & Water Reserve, Horseshoe Mound, Galena Gateway Park.

But, remember, you need to bring a camera or something to make a selfie in order to participate in this photo contest.

On June 8, JDCF is initiating its Frame Your Family Photo Challenge. For the first two weeks, look for a large wooden frame somewhere at Valley of Eden. Simply take a photo of your family with the frame and then upload it to Facebook and hashtag “#JDCF.”

After two weeks, the frame will be moved to another JDCF property and the next round of selfies can begin.

The JDCF press release notes that family is one of “nature’s masterpieces.”

There’s an additional benefit. The press release adds: “Those ‘framing’ their families at three of the six preserves” receives a one-year membership from JDCF.

Updates on the frame’s location will be published in The Galena Gazette. There will also be postings on jdcf.com and the organization’s Facebook page.

Summer reading fun

Rep. Andrew Chesney, our state representative, wants parents to know about his second annual Summer Reading Club Program.

The encourages young people who have completed grades one through five this spring and who live in the 89th district to read eight books.

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He says, “The program is offered to encourage students to read over the summer to promote the lifelong benefits of literacy.”

He adds, “Students who read over the summer enter the school year in the fall ahead of students who do not read over the summer. This is a fun way for students to be rewarded for simply reading eight books over their summer break and returning a form signed by a parent or guardian.

“It’s important for all of us to encourage students to get ahead by becoming better readers, especially this year when students are set back by remote learning challenges due to COVID.”

Signing up for the program is easy. Simply visit bit.ly/3euZEfp. There you begin the signup process.

The representative also notes that pamphlets are being electronically distributed to schools and libraries and paper forms are also available via direct mail upon request.

In addition, this program doesn’t preclude young people from participating in other summer reading programs. In other words, double dipping or triple dipping is permitted.

Students have until Aug. 2 to read their books. They will receive recognition and a treat to reward them for their summer reading.


Two sentences of advice

A couple weeks ago we asked for area residents to send us two sentences of advice or words of wisdom for the area’s graduates. Since then we topped 50 submissions. That’s pretty darned good, but we’d like more.

It’s not easy doing this in two sentences. Consider it a challenge. We encourage you to send your two sentences of advice to hdickerson@galgazette.com or drop it off at our office. June 15 is the deadline.

by P. Carter Newton