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February 15, 2019



The Watercolour World, launched on January 31,  preserves a view of the world predating photography, by collecting watercolors painted prior to 1900 and digitizing them, and posting them for the public. The Watercolour World has already compiled 80,000 images, categorized and made searchable to the public by location or subject, including topography, botany, zoology, historic events, and human achievements. “The Watercolour World will offer an extraordinary journey into the world in earlier times, to encounter our predecessors, and to observe how they lived, loved and played,” said Fred Hohler, founder of The Watercolour World. “With the world at risk from climate change, rising sea levels, and worse, the project will provide scientists and environmentalists with an accurate visual account of much of the natural world as it used to be. And to conservationists and historians, it will provide the evidence to conserve and rebuild structures, to find lost places and to see the roots of human progress.”



USDA Launches High-Speed Broadband e-Connectivity Resource Guide

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new toolkit to help support the deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities. The e-Connectivity Toolkit features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The guide allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. Resources such as grants, loans and technical assistance are available from multiple areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service.



The average U.S. state is made up of 62 counties. With so many counties spread throughout each state in the nation, it’s not surprising that we can find counties that exemplify almost any part of the American experience. In comparing county-level data, the differences in economic opportunity within each state can be indicated by median household income, which is one proxy for the difference in economic status between counties. The five states with the biggest disparity between rich and poor counties are Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Maryland, and Tennessee. In Illinois, Kendall County has the highest median household income, $92,000 and Alexander County has the lowest median household income, $33,300. The state average median household income is $61,000. Note that while median household income can help point to disparities between counties, it is just one indicator.



The webinar Think Global, Eat Local, at Noon (CST) on Thursday, February 21, will highlight Illinois Extension programming designed to assist community leaders and others in addressing food access. UI Extension Educators Pam Schallhorn (Community and Economic Development), Dr. Laurie George (Small Farms / Local Foods), Liz Miller (4-H Youth Development), and Ashley Hoffman (SNAP-Ed) will explain how participants can improve food access through community gardens, mobile markets, food banks and more. The presenters will discuss food insecurity, planning a community food project, sustainability through fundraising, and how to involve volunteers and youth. Participants will also learn about healthier food options and an improved quality of life while encouraging community engagement and environmental sustainability. Register Here.



February 15 - Governor's Volunteer Service Awards Nomination Deadline

February 21 (Webinar) -Think Global, Eat Local

March 6-7 (Springfield) - 30th Annual Economic Development Conference

March 14 (Webinar) - Developing a Creative Economy

March 21-22 - 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference

May 16 (Belleville) - Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference

June 5 (Springfield) - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

July 14-17 (Columbia, MO) - Community Development Society Annual Conference

August 12-15 (Moline) - Midwest Community Development Institute