Area update: UI named a 2015 Tree Campus USA

URBANA — The Arbor Day Foundation on Thursday named the UI as a 2015 Tree Campus USA winner.

The award recognizes the university's commitment to effective urban forest management. The foundation has been honoring colleges and universities this way since 2008.

Pileated woodpecker spotted near Mahomet

MAHOMET — How much wood would a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker would peck wood?

Six holes — at least on one maple tree in Mahomet.

Paula and Gary Flannell spotted a rare pileated woodpecker earlier this year outside their home on Mahomet's west side.

Tom Kacich: FutureGen fizzle a blessing in disguise?

Ten years ago it looked like a potential savior of the downstate Illinois economy and Illinois' teetering coal industry.

UI Senate OKs resolution urging coal divestment

URBANA — The latest divestment effort at the University of Illinois may not meet quite the same resistance that prolonged the campaign against apartheid in the 1980s.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: You don't have to go far to see great things

In recent years, I've been fortunate to have some pretty exotic spring breaks, camping in Florida with my family and touring Costa Rica with University of Illinois undergraduates in a course I teach.

Not this year. But my more local spring break had its moments all the same.

UI senate resolution calls for divestment from coal holdings

URBANA — The Urbana campus Academic Senate will debate a resolution next week calling on University of Illinois trustees to divest from all indirect holdings in coal-mining and coal-utility companies.

The student-sponsored resolution will be on Monday's agenda for the senate, which includes students, faculty members and academic professional employees.

Area update: St. Joe Legion proposing memorial for veterans

ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph American Legion is proposing a veterans memorial, to be placed at the sports complex on the east side of the village.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Author puts spotlight on biodiversity loss

If you're familiar with this column, you know I take great pleasure in observing the natural world, especially the wildlife I come across on a day-to-day basis in East Central Illinois.

Tom's #Mailbag, March 11, 2016

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Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Bird's often the word in my circles

One of the things I enjoy most about birding is the way it brings people together to share observations.