June 21, 2021

Water is Falling (Lake & Sky Edition)

Recall how not too long ago—last summer, in fact—the level of water in Lake Michigan was flirting with its all-time high, walking on the sidewalk at Burnham Harbor meant your feet were underwater, once ample beaches were reduced to slivers of sand, and storms caused significant erosion along the lake shore?
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May 25, 2021

Fixing the Problem of the Missing Million-Dollar Signature

In government, we have had no shortage of pressing issues to contend with this past year, and perhaps no one’s pulse will be set racing by a brief commentary on government procurement. But let me tell you two stories.
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April 22, 2021

Keep This Oath

In 1915 Wilhelm Miller, then head of the University of Illinois’ Landscape Extension—the first of its kind in the country—published a small but influential tract titled The Prairie Spirit of Landscape Gardening. Miller had come to Illinois a few years prior believing that the true American style could first be realized in a region less burdened by European tradition—in other words, right here in the heartland.
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March 22, 2021

Water, the Ineffable

As I write this, I have just returned from a morning spent carrying wood to burning brush piles at Somme Prairie Nature Preserve in suburban Northbrook (Cook County, IL), a dedicated Illinois nature preserve where a large expanse was recently cleared of invasive trees and brush.
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February 17, 2021

Since December 1

Since December 1, the amount of snow that has fallen on Cook County as of Tuesday evening—42.7"—is the equivalent of 5.35" of rain. 5.35 inches of water equals 87.9 billion gallons across the expanse of Cook County.
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January 15, 2021

What Could Possibly Go Right?* (Also Join a Virtual Tour of the Water Reclamation District)

I’ll get to the catchy title in a moment, but first I wanted to invite you to join a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Deep Tunnel and other facilities on Tuesday, January 19, 2–3:30p.m. CST. Admission is free, there’s no age limit, just BYOP (Bring your own popcorn)!
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