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Click here to see this online
 
 
 

July 9, 2021

 

 
 
Capture the Dark 
 

The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) is hosting the second annual Capture the Dark Photography Contest. The contest is free to enter and open to entrants of all skill levels worldwide. There are eight contest categories, including Connecting to the Dark, International Dark Sky Place, The Impact of Light Pollution, The Bright Side of Lighting, Creatures of the Night, Deep Sky, The Mobile Photographer, and Youth. One entry per category per person is allowed. Winners of each category will receive a prize package that includes a Peak Design field pouch and camera strap, a PhotoPills license, a feature in the Nightscape publication, the IDA blog and social media, an IDA membership, and IDA swag. See  www.darksky.org/capturethedark for category descriptions, submission instructions, and more. The submission window closes on July 23, 2021, at 2 p.m.

 

 
 
 US Dept of Agriculture
 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Rural Business-Cooperative Service unveiled a grant program to help rural communities create good-paying jobs and support new business opportunities in high-growth fields. Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) is intended to help rural communities identify and maximize local assets and connect to networks and industry clusters within their region. RISE provides grants of up to $2 million to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas. The funds may be used to form job accelerator partnerships and create high-wage jobs, start or expand businesses, and support economic growth in rural areas. Funding may be used to establish and operate innovation centers and partnerships, such as integrating rural businesses into new supply chains, providing workforce training and identifying community assets. To help ensure long-term and sustainable community and economic development, award recipients must support projects for at least four years. For more information, contact your USDA Rural Development State Office. Apply at Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 2, 2021. Information is available on page 31585 of the June 15 Federal Register. USDA is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to help stakeholders and potential applicants learn more. To register, visit: attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9046642451030677262.

 

 
 
Jumping Worm 
 

Jumping worms, non-native earthworms also called Alabama jumpers, crazy worms, or snake worms, were discovered in Illinois in 2015, and are now confirmed in 28 counties across the state. This invasive species is named for its unique, active movements. Jumping worms often are found in the leaf litter or mulch layer, or in the top 3 to 4 inches of soil in wooded areas, garden beds, and lawns. Once established, jumping worms can damage plant roots, lawns, or ornamental gardens. Illinois Extension forestry research specialist Chris Evans says the worms are voracious eaters that decrease soil quality and reduce organic matter. Over time, the soil begins to look like coffee grounds. Since this sign is delayed and the worm’s microscopic eggs can survive Illinois winters, gardeners may unknowingly have them or spread them. While the worms have a huge impact on the fragile forest soil profile of Illinois forests, effects to the garden or yard can be addressed. “This is not a ‘sound the alarm and panic’ situation, but it is one to keep an eye out for and know about,” Evans says. “Jumping worms do not disperse very fast on their own. It is human-aided spread that can be an issue.” Gardeners can help by using heat-treated commercial compost or mulch; cleaning off equipment and shoes, especially if working at multiple garden sites; and not sharing home compost, mulch, or plants. Learn more about how to identify and report jumping worms at go.illinois.edu/JumpingWorms2021

 

 
 
 LGE Webinar Series
 

Illinois Extension’s Local Government Education program will host the Illinois Office of Broadband and the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society for Part 3 of the Developing Broadband Leadership Webinar Series - Funding and Partnerships, which will offer detailed information on federal, state and local finance tools. This discussion will include partnership examples ranging from market development, grants and loans, ownership and operational models. This session will be held from 11:30AM -1PM Central Time on Tuesday, July 13. Moderators from the Illinois Office of Broadband, Illinois Extension, and the Benton Institute of Broadband and Society will steer the presentations and discussions and facilitate audience questions. See Illinois Extension’s community broadband development page for archived recordings from this series.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

July 13 - EDEN Preparing the Urban Canopy for Weather-Related Disasters

July 13 - Developing Broadband Leadership (Part 3): Funding and Partnerships

July 27 - Developing Broadband Leadership (Part 4): Moving a Broadband Project Forward

July 29 - Geothermal in Illinois: Overview and Technology

August 3 - Developing Broadband Leadership (Part 5): Broadband Adoption and Affordability: Ensuring Broadband for Everyone

 

 
 
 
 
 

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