Environmental vigil set Sunday at West Side Park

CHAMPAIGN — The candlelight "Vigil for Our Common Home," calling for environmental stewarship of the planet Earth, will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at West Side park.

Biomass boiler to keep UI greenhouse warm, clean

URBANA — It's an idea as old as human history: burning plants for fuel.

At a greenhouse where sugar cane thrives in the middle of January, a locally grown energy source will soon be providing environmentally friendly heat.

Top of the Morning, Jan. 17, 2017

The bald eagle that has become a regular at First Christian Church in Champaign was back on its perch Monday morning.

"I think it's unique to have our national symbol visiting our place," said Don Orr, First Christian's operations and missions pastor. "It's quite a sight when it takes off to fly and its wings unfold."

Letters from Birdland: It was nice to hit the Chicago ice

In Birdland, we all have new ice skates. As soon as my student told me last semester about the new Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon in Chicago, I couldn't stop thinking about that glide, glide and sway of my childhood, and my youngest and I found ourselves on the way up to the big city.

Ellis did most of the driving so I could knit.

Letters from Birdland: The latest Chicken Girl Club meeting

We had a New Year's visit with friends in Birdland. The second meeting of the The Chicken Girl Club (CGC) came to order about 10 a.m. on New Year's Day.

Our club was established in late summer, when my sister, Becky, asked if she could bring out some friends — Brenda, who wanted to get started with chickens, and Charis.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Excellent birding on New Year's Eve

As the sun set on the last day of 2016, I was doing one of the things I like to do best: birding with friends. The friends — Brody Dunn and Greg Lambeth — and I had spent the day participating in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count at Clinton Lake, where Greg and I, with company from various others, have covered the same territory for more than a decade.

For rural Urbana farmer, solar power is cool

URBANA — After installing solar panels at his Blue Moon organic farm, Jon Cherniss will be relying on the sun not only to grow his vegetables come summer, but cool them, too.

Final cleanup at Champaign's manufactured gas plant site delayed

Ameren crews that are finishing up remediation work at the former site of Champaign's manufactured gas plant at Fifth and Hill streets said they've found more coal tar than expected.  So the work originally scheduled for November is now set to begin later this month.

Letters from Birdland: Endings and new beginnings

In Birdland, we search for beginnings folded into the endings.

One of the African violets that Michael tends has sent up a tiny bouquet of buds, one of which has opened: tiny, purple petals encasing bright yellow anthers, like beads in a velvet box.

It's not just about the downhills

CHAMPAIGN — Five or so years ago, the Champaign Ski Club tweaked its name to more accurately describe what it does.

It's now known as the Champaign Ski & Adventure Club.

As publicity chairman Larry Eyre said, the club members do a lot more than ski.