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May 11, 2018



May is Mental Health Month, designed to raise awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health. The campaign, Fitness #4Mind4Body, describes how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems, and can play a role in helping people recover from these conditions. Recent research connects nutrition and gut health with mental health. Getting a good night's sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And it’s important to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga.



Creating Age-Friendly Communities & Case Study: Preventing Senior Bullying

Join us for a free webinar, Age-Friendly Initiatives: Making Communities Livable for All Ages, on Thursday, June 14, 2018, from Noon to 1PM., where our speakers give us insight on: (1) how communities can prepare for more older adults, and (2) socio-emotional aspects of age-friendly communities, including the signs of senior bullying. Our presenters include: Wendy Bartlo, PhD. Outreach Specialist for the Center on Health, Aging, and Disability at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker, Family Life Educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties; and Karla Belzer, Family Life Educator serving Carroll, Lee, and Whiteside Counties. There is no cost to attend the webinar; however, REGISTRATION is required. Register online or contact Nancy Ouedraogo at for more information.



University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Farmers Market Association are offering the first educational webinar for cottage food producers based on the new law changes that started on January 1, 2018. The bill flipped the cottage food paradigm from allowing nothing but a short list of foods to allowing everything except a list of foods that still must be made in a commercial kitchen. It went into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Read a blog post to learn more here: All of these changes are up to date in the 2018 Cottage Food Guide. On Friday, May 18, from noon to 1 p.m., Rebecca Osland, Government Relations Coordinator, Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Laurie George, University of Illinois Extension, will present a free webinar about the regulations. The webinar is free but pre-registration is required.


About 2,200 chickens have been given to herdsmen in China’s northwest, in anticipation of locusts, as reported by Bloomberg. The majority of China’s north may face more serious outbreaks of locusts this summer due to a warmer winter, according to a government forecast. A total of 1.12 million hectares (2.8 million acres) is expected to be hit. “Use of pesticides pollutes the environment,” said  Yang Zong, an official with the local animal husbandry bureau. The chickens were given to herdsmen in advance of the peak outbreak season next month so the birds can adapt to the local environment, including high altitudes, said Yang. One chicken is able to catch more than 600 locusts a day, with ducks and other birds also being deployed by the regional government to tackle the pests.




June 14, 2018 (Webinar) - Age-Friendly Communities and Senior Bullying

June 27, 2018 - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

July 22-25, 2018: Community Development Society Annual Conference

August 6-9, 2018: Midwest Community Development Institute