Winter Walk at River Bend Forest Preserve

A winter walk through River Bend Forest Preserve in Mahomet on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013.

Environmental Almanac: Farmers near Homer voice opposition to mine

In remarks to a recent meeting of the Homer Village Board, attorney Steve Beckett suggested that the effort to stop development of a coal mine in Vermilion County had created an unusual alliance between environmentalists and farmers in the area.

Turtle to spend year at school before heading back to wild

CHAMPAIGN — Booker T. Washington STEM Academy has a new reptile — but it is not a class pet.

The Champaign school is hosting Snappy the alligator snapping turtle for a year or less as a part of Operation Endangered Species.

The program has a few schools in Illinois working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to house the turtles before they're let go in the wild.

2 Danville firms team on 'green' cleaning products

DANVILLE — Two locally owned Danville companies have formed a partnership to market their products and services together.

Danville Paper and Supply in downtown Danville will be offering the locally manufactured "green" cleaning products of EnvirOx to its customer base throughout the Illiana region.

Urbana plan aims to preserve 'legacy' trees on private property

URBANA — A massive, 100-foot-tall bur oak still stands at the intersection of Maple and Main streets today because community members intervened.

When Long's Garage sought to expand in 1979, they appeared ready to cut down the 200-year-old tree. At the urging of a University of Illinois forestry class and some encouragement from city officials, the Long family built around the tree.

Aqua Illinois to use chlorine for water treatment for next few weeks

DANVILLE — Aqua Illinois officials are warning water customers in the Danville area that their water may have a slight chlorine taste next month as a result of a routine, temporary procedure at the water company facility.

EPA discusses procedure, effect of 'sole-source' aquifer designation

CHAMPAIGN — An effort by a coalition of local government agencies to get special federal protection for the Mahomet Aquifer continued on Wednesday as officials explained that a "sole-source" designation is unlikely to affect most projects above the drinking water reservoir.

Water-sewer vote in Homer may not come till Feb. 11

HOMER — It may be almost two weeks before the village board again considers voting on a proposed contract with Sunrise Coal for treated water and sewer services, according to Mayor David Lucas.

Homer delays vote on contract with coal mine

HOMER — Village board members will not be voting on a water and sewer agreement with Sunrise Coal tonight, according to Mayor David Lucas.

The special meeting was canceled because work on the contract had not been completed in time to provide adequate opportunity for review by board members and the public, Lucas said in an email.

Environmental Almanac: Researcher conducts high-tech hunt for Chicago food gardens

Although press coverage of urban agriculture sometimes seems to suggest that growing food in the city is a new phenomenon, it's really a tradition with deep roots in Illinois and one that's especially strong in Chicago.