Illinois Division

of the Izaak Walton League of America

10/30/2022

Members of the Illinois Division-IWLA:

The Executive Committee of the IWLA Illinois Division is pleased to announce The Division assumed ownership of the 519 acre “Montgomery Family Farm” outside of Atkinson, IL. This new property is roughly a mile south of the existing Giant Goose Conservation Education Workshop.

“The Preserve”

“The Preserve” is the working name for the new property until The Division determines a permanent name. The Preserve contains approximately 205 acres of tillable land and over 300 acres of pasture, timber, wetlands, a lake, and ponds with potential for conservation and educational purpose.

Over the next two years, The Illinois Division will be working to develop and implement a long-term usage vision for The Preserve. A road and other infrastructure will be constructed. The Division is contracting with a farm management firm to oversee the lease of the tillable acres to a local farmer. The income received from the farm contract will be used for the development of the property and mission.

The Division understands the excitement to see and explore the resources available at The Preserve, but absolutely no fishing, hunting, foraging, hiking, camping or access of any kind will be allowed during the development phase without prior written authorization by The Illinois Division executive committee. This will be policy until further formal written notice from the Executive Committee of The Division has been distributed to the membership of The Division.

2022-23 Membership at Giant Goose Conservation Education Workshop does not include any access or usage of the new Illinois Division property, The Preserve. They are two separate and distinct projects of The Division and will be managed separately and have unique access requirements.

The Land Transfer and “The Goose Workshop”

To acquire The Preserve, The Illinois Division entered into an agreement with Ecology Solutions, LLC. to transfer ownership of the 252-acre, Giant Goose Conservation Education Workshop (GGCEW), in exchange for ownership of the 519 acres of The Preserve. The Division signed a 100-year lease agreement with two 50-year renewal options with Ecology Solutions, LLC. for The Goose Workshop. The entire 252-acre property will be available for use by The Goose Workshop/GGCEW members until The Division receives formal notice from Ecology Solutions, LLC. This notice will coincide with the construction of a 100 ft wide, 20 ft tall berm around a major portion of the current Goose Workshop campground and buildings. At that time, which is currently predicted to be 10 years from now, The Goose Workshop members will still have access to 72 acres of the original property. The 72 acres will include the majority of exiting trails, the existing main campground, Pete’s Park, many of the original lakes, and the 37-acre East Side area across E. 2350th Street.

GGCEW Membership benefits will remain virtually unchanged for the year 2023.

Camping, fishing, hiking, and educational opportunities are available to you at The Goose Workshop property as they have been in the past. Youth Day is scheduled for June 2023. Field Trips are still welcome and encouraged. Membership, camping, and fishing fees will remain the same as in 2022. Usage rules for camping, fishing etc. will remain the same as they were for 2022.

What is changing is oversight of The Goose Workshop/GGCEW. Previously, the GGCEW was managed by a board of directors elected by the GGCEW members at the annual meeting. The Goose Workshop will now be managed by The Illinois Division and a steering committee consisting of Illinois Division members.

Developing and implementing a vision for the future of The Preserve and The Goose Workshop will require input from all Division members to be successful. The Division will be leaving a legacy for future generations. Together we will build upon what was started by those visionary Illinois Division members in the mid-1960s, when they took on the initial lease of what was to become the Giant Goose Conservation Education Workshop. Over the upcoming months, we will be putting together a steering committee to outline and develop our plans for The Preserve. Every member is encouraged to share thoughts, ideas, and suggestions with The Division executive committee. If you are interested in serving on the Steering Committee, or if you have any questions or concerns, we ask that you reach out to any member of The IWLA Illinois Division Executive Committee listed below.

Garrit Struck, President

Audrey Scheider, Vice President

Luann Noll, Treasurer

John Zon, Secretary

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Illini Ike State Newsletter

All Chapters wishing to submit an article to the Illini Ike Newsletter can do so by contacting the Communications Committee via email at communications.iwla.il@gmail.com

Submission deadlines are: March 31, July 31, and November 15.

Upcoming Division Events

Division Awards Submission Deadline

The 2023 deadline for Division Awards has been moved to March 1st, 2023. For more details on submitting an award, please see the Award Committee page of this site.


We are the Izaak Walton League of America.



Who We Are

In 1922 The Izaak Walton League was founded in Chicago, Illinois by a group of sportsmen (Chicago Chapter No. 1) who wished to protect fishing opportunities for future generations. They named the league after seminal fishing enthusiast Izaak Walton (1593-1683), known as the "Father of Flyfishing" and author of The Compleat Angler.

Advertising executive Will Dilg became its first president and promoter. The first conservation organization with a mass membership, the League had over 100,000 supporters by 1924. An early result of their efforts was the establishment of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in 1924.to save outdoor America for future generations.

We are one of the earliest conservation organizations to set an aggressive course to defend wild America by changing public policy. Almost every major, successful conservation program that America has in place today can be traced directly to a League activity or initiative.

The environment is everyone's issue. We believe that America needs smart solutions that are good for the environment and the economy at the same time. Relying on our unique blend of community-based conservation and common-sense advocacy, the League has made significant progress to protect and restore our nation's waters, promote clean energy, and advance sustainable agriculture.

Throughout more than 230 communities, our chapters advance the mission of the Izaak Walton League by restoring watersheds, reducing air pollution, fighting litter, protecting wildlife habitat and open spaces, and instilling conservation ethics in outdoor recreationists. Our commitment to communities has allowed us to endure for almost a century. Our optimism, our spirit, and our vision for a better outdoor America guide our work.

More Information about the Founding of The League can be found in the IWLA publications Born With Fists Doubled: Defending Outdoor America, by William Voight Jr. and the Winter 2012 edition of Outdoor America article, The Roaring 20s: A Call to Action.

The Illinois Division has had a long line of dedicated volunteers who act as our president. a Full list of these individuals can be found here.


What We Do

As like-minded conservationists, anglers, hunters, and nature lovers of all walks of life, we work locally to promote our conservation mission.

Our chapter's primary interests are focused on local clean water issues, including watershed and wetlands protection. We advocate sustainable living and encourage outdoor users to protect our valuable natural resources while they continue to enjoy the great outdoors.


Join Us

For information about membership, contact Luann Noll:

luanndnoll@yahoo.com

Meeting Dates and Locations

The Illinois Division meets 4 times a year. Meetings are open to all Izaak Walton League members.

  • Winter Meeting: 1st Saturday in December at Starved Rock State Park Utica, IL.

  • Spring Meeting: April 22, 2023, Woodford County Chapter

  • Summer Meeting: Held at IWLA National Convention in July.

  • Fall Meeting: 3rd Saturday in September at the Giant Goose Conservation Education Workshop - Atkinson, IL.

Division Leadership

President: Garrit Struck

1st VP: Audrey Scheider

Treasurer: Luann Noll

Secretary: John Zon

Tree Certificate Committee: Crystal Terfler

State Awards Committee: Lloye Pond

Advocacy Committee: Dean Farr

Communications Committee: Audrey Scheider, (563) 447-1593, communications.iwla.il@gmail.com

National Directors:

  • Ron Moore

  • Dean Farr

To strive for the purity of water, the clarity of air, and the wise stewardship of the land and its resources; to know the beauty and understanding of nature, and the value of wildlife, woodlands and open space, to the preservation of this heritage and to man's sharing in it, l pledge myself as a member of the Izaak Walton League of America.