Woodford County news briefs

The Illinois Department of Transportation once again is participating in the annual
“Trees to Schools” initiative.


 Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s season finale coming to Bloomington

Rachel Barton Pine, recognized as a Great Performer of Illinois, joins the Illinois Symphony Orchestra led by acclaimed Music Director Ken Lam at their season finale to perform Bruch’s tuneful “Scottish Fantasy” and Vaughan-Williams “Lark Ascending”.

Audiences will experience the full forces of nature in Lili Boulanger’s impressionistic depiction “Of a Spring Morning”, and Respighi’s triumphant masterpiece “Pines of Rome.”

Listen live to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at Sangamon Auditorium, University of Illinois-Sangamon.

Both concerts will be followed by a special post-concert reception hosted by the Illinois Symphony Guild of Bloomington-Normal in Bloomington and the Illinois Symphony Guild of Springfield in Springfield.

Tickets are $21, $42, and $63. Student tickets available for $6 (Age 6-26) with valid Student ID, children 5 and under are free with a paying adult. Senior and group discounts are also available. Tickets may be purchased in Bloomington through the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts at 309-434-2777 or in Springfield through the UIS Performing Arts Center for Sangamon Auditorium at 217-206-6160.

Tickets may be purchased online, by phone, or through the ticket office. Senior, group, or student priced tickets are not available online.

Pine has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Chicago and Vienna Symphonies, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg.

She performs on the “ex-Bazzini ex-Soldat” Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu (Cremona 1742). rachelbartonpine.com


 Advocate Hospital recognized for sustainability leadership

Advocate Eureka Hospital received a Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.

The award is presented to hospitals that continuously improve waste reduction and recycling programs.

Winning facilities must demonstrate successful recycling programs, that they have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.

Advocate Eureka Hospital has been recognized for its sustainability achievements.

In health care, sustainability means eliminating mercury, reducing and recycling solid waste, cutting down on regulated and chemical waste, lowering energy and water consumption, sourcing food and products sustainably, and establishing green purchasing policies.

Advocate Aurora Health as a system was awarded the System for Change Award, which recognizes health systems that are working cohesively and across hospitals and facilities to set and meet goals related to sustainability, from reducing energy use to increasing recycling to establishing green building practices. In January, Advocate Aurora Health pledged to power its health care operations with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

“Delivering the highest quality care to our patients and communities is deeply intertwined with the health of the environment,” said Mary Larsen, director of environmental affairs and sustainability for Advocate Aurora Health. “Reducing our environmental footprint and contributing to a healthier environment is crucial to helping people live well now and for generations to come.”

In addition to the System for Change Award, every eligible acute care hospital across the health system earned individual honors for their green efforts.

“As more and more hospitals embed sustainability into their operations, the bar for environmental excellence increases every year,” said Gary Cohen, president of Practice Greenhealth. “Advocate Aurora Health demonstrates the kind of leadership, innovation and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”

Learn the ins and outs of top smartphone apps

The Eureka Library is holding two sessions on Friday, May 3 on Android Smartphone Apps: The Good, The Bad, & The Safe.

The first session is from 10 —11:30 a.m. and the second one will be  1—2:30 p.m.

Instructor Nancy Komlanc will answer questions about apps and go over step-by-step instructions on what are apps and their uses, how to install and uninstall apps, how to determine whether an app is safe, and how to safely shop online using an app.

Plus, the instructor will share some helpful apps that she has used for a long time. This workshop is geared towards people 50 and older, and participants will receive step-by-step instructions to take home.

Workshop fee is $20. Bring your android smartphone to the workshop to make these phone adjustments. Space is limited; contact the library to register.



 Illinois schools receiving 5,000 trees from IDOT

The Illinois Department of Transportation once again distributed 5,000 seedlings to schools throughout the state  in cooperation with Living Lands & Waters in honor of Earth Day on April 22.

The “Trees to Schools” initiative helps offset the loss of trees removed or otherwise affected by construction and maintenance activities. Each of the nine IDOT highway districts received 550 trees to distribute to local schools.

Participating schools use the trees on their grounds or distribute them to students as a learning opportunity about the importance of trees to the environment.

One tree can produce as much oxygen in a single season as 10 humans consume in one year. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide and release oxygen in return. Trees also reduce erosion, filter chemicals, produce shade and provide habitat and food for birds and other animals.

The trees were provided for free to IDOT as part of Living Lands & Waters Million Trees Project. Varieties included red oak, swamp white oak, bur oak and redbud.

Since 2009, IDOT has distributed approximately 50,000 seedlings through Living Lands & Waters program.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Safe Routes to School Grants

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation awarded more than $5.5 million to local communities for projects that encourage students to walk or bike to school. The 39 projects, made possible through IDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, were selected from 160 applications received from across the state.

“I’m proud to announce that dozens of Safe Routes to School projects will be carried out across the state at no cost to Illinois,” said Pritzker. “Using federal funds, we will be making sidewalk improvements, increasing signage, making crosswalks safer, and providing equipment to crossing guards and parent patrol programs. These projects will allow more of our students to safely walk or bike to school and will make our communities safer and healthier places to live.”

Administered by IDOT using federal funds, Safe Routes to School supports projects and activities that improve safety and reduce traffic in areas around elementary and middle schools. Improvements can include new sidewalks, efforts to reduce speeding and other traffic offenses, public education and outreach programs.

“Safe Routes to School empowers communities to make decisions about where funding can do the most good,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “But it also exemplifies how IDOT takes a multimodal approach to our transportation network and strives to give people safe, reliable options about where and how they choose to travel.”

The next application period for Safe Routes to School is anticipated in the fall of 2020. Visit www.idot.illinois.gov/srts or email DOT.SafeRoutes@Illinois.gov for more information.