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Symposium to focus on importance, diversity of Fox River

Scientists, educators and ecologists will share insight

A bald eagle flies over the Fox River near downtown Batavia on Jan. 18.
A bald eagle flies over the Fox River near downtown Batavia on Jan. 18.

“A Fox River Testimony: A Community Symposium” will share facts about the river’s diversity and its importance to northern Illinois.

The public is welcome to join a panel of scientists, educators and ecologists as they share their expertise and appreciation for the Fox River and its associated landscapes during the event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University, 1315 Prairie St., Aurora, The Conservation Foundation announced in a news release.

The discussion is being offered in conjunction with an exhibit of the same name featuring paintings of the Fox River by plein air artist Joel Sheesley, created in partnership with The Conservation Foundation.

Those attending will learn about the land that drains to the Fox River and the vibrant natural communities that are dependent upon its health from a number of panelists, including:

• Stephen Pescitelli, natural resources advanced specialist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

• Steven Byers, field representative with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission

• Richard Boniak, associate professor of environmental and general sciences at George Williams College of Aurora University in Williams Bay, Wisconsin

• Karen Ann Miller, executive planner at the Kane County Development and Community Service Department

• Angie Tornes, Wisconsin field office manager and Great Lakes states manager with the National Park Service

The Fox River has been a source of life and the backbone of communities on multiple levels for more than
200 years and contributes to the quality of life enjoyed by those living in the region, which also is dependent upon the health of the river, according to the release.

The exhibit, “A Fox River Testimony,” is on display through Dec. 14 at the Schingoethe Center at Aurora University. It is composed of 73 original oil paintings done over a two-year period along the 80-mile stretch of the river from Dundee to Ottawa.

The exhibit will be open for viewing after the symposium until 4 p.m. The Conservation Foundation is partnering with the Schingoethe Center and Aurora University for the exhibit and symposium.

Registration is required and can be made online by visiting under the Events, Arts and Ideas tab.

With more than 4,000 members, the Conservation Foundation is one of the region’s oldest and largest nonprofit land and watershed conservation organizations.

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