The Dwight Lydell chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America—defenders of soil, air, woods, waters and wildlife—will hold its annual Conservation and Awards Banquet on March 4 at the Centennial Country Club. This event is open to the public but attendance is by advanced reservation only. The “Ikes” will recognize some members for their dedicated conservation work and will honor non-members Stu and Nancy Cok for their wise stewardship of 126 acres of woodland with a small feeder creek in the Rogue River watershed. Their stewardship culminated with the Coks putting the land into a conservation easement under the guidance of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. This action keeps the land in a natural state forever. The banquet will include guest speaker Dr. Howard Tanner, retired DNR director. “The father of salmon fishing” will tell the exciting story of how and why salmon were introduced into the Great Lakes. The evening will also include a buffet dinner, silent auction and bucket raffle. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., and dinner and programs at 7 p.m. Admission by reservation only is $27 in advance. For reservations, please call Bob Stegmier at (616) 866-4769 before March 1. For more information, visit www.iwla.org and www.michiganikes.org.
Izaak Walton League of America
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 […]