The Izaak Walton League Winterfest is designed to share the glories of the winter season: snowflakes, ice fishing, skating, cross-country skiing, animal tracks in the snow, sculptures, shelters, sledding, nature, and fun! This year, the Dwight Lydell Chapter is hoping to have some snow to celebrate. While some people prefer more tropical weather, many look forward to the variety that our seasons bring, and the truth is, much of our wildlife depends upon it. The Winterfest “show” will go on either way, as there are also many activities that don’t require snow, such as archery, exploring the Conservation Center’s trails, making a birdfeeder or house, building a camp of pine branches, or enjoying a hotdog lunch. All of the activities are free and open to the community. The “Ikes” welcome this chance for you to see what their group has to offer, with 39 acres, Armstrong Creek, a pond, cozy clubhouse, and folks committed to preserving our natural resources. This chapter started in 1927, with hunters and fishermen as “defenders of soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife.” The nonprofit continues with these issues and also kids’ need for nature. This event is free, but they always appreciate donations for their projects involving schools, education, workshops, and outdoor activities. The League invites you, your friends and especially children to enjoy the fun from 10 to 3 p.m. at 5641 Myers Lake Ave., on January 28. If you would like to be involved as a volunteer, perhaps on the sledding hill, in the kitchen, or anything at all, please call Georgia Donovan at (616) 773-2850 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dwight Lydell Chapter
Public invited for a day of family fun The Izaak Walton League of America (the “Ikes”) has had another busy year with many activities at the local Dwight Lydell chapter. The nonprofit conservation club has stayed active in environmental issues at the state and local levels, following their interests in water quality, energy, fishing, hunting, and their love of nature. Some of their members also participate in other groups concerned with Great Lakes fisheries, Asian carp, and the Rogue River watershed. With the Ikes you can be as involved as you want to be, from simply attending dinners, to volunteering, to activist. This past year, 2010, started with an annual event that is just around the corner again: Winterfest! Last year’s was a lot of fun, with ice-fishing and skating at their pond, archery, making candles over an outdoor fire, cross-country skiing, snow castles, and exploring the beauty of nature in the wintertime, plus a free lunch. On Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, the Ikes will open their gate to the public again, at 5641 Myers Lake Rd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ikes hold many events that spread their message to the public. Each year they give two $1,000 scholarships to area seniors pursuing careers in an environmental field. A Conservationist of the Year award is given every year at their annual fundraising banquet. An interesting speaker is found, and many great items are collected for a silent auction, which is their main fundraiser for the year. This year’s banquet will be in March, with a program about salmon in Lake Michigan. Fishing is dear to the heart of the group, and they have many days devoted to getting children involved. Every Saturday morning in May they open their pond, supplying gear, bait and advice to those who want to give it a try. On Wednesday evenings from mid-June to mid-July, volunteers bring fishing equipment to the dock at Versluis Lake, helping any kids that meet them there. During the spring and fall, Ikes president Georgia Donovan and vice president Barb McGuirl have an after-school “Kids’ Nature Club,” where kids play and explore outdoors in an unstructured way. The idea is to allow them to feel at home in nature, become familiar with […]