Several members of the Little Blue Stem Chapter of Quail Forever were the recipients of awards presented at the Illinois Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever state meeting held in Springfield in January.
Jon Essenpreis, Gary Korte, and Jason Pierce were awarded Chapter Dedication certificates for their continued involvement in chapter activities for at least 3 years or more.
Denny Kirkham received a plaque for the State Volunteer of the Year Award. This is awarded to a member that has served as a chapter leader and has been very involved in volunteer work in support of the organization’s mission at the local, state, and national level.
Gary Laurent was entered into the PF/QF Illinois Hall of Fame for his involvement in both organizations for over 20. He has been instrumental in starting several new chapters in the state, has been involved in habitat management for wildlife at the local and state level and is a past recipient of the Chapter Dedication Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Past recipients of the Chapter Dedication Award are Hal Langham, Steve Langheim, Denny Kirkham, and Doug Hays. Jason Pierce was recognized as the Conservation Educator award in 2017, Gary Laurent (2010) and Hal Langham (2017) have been awarded the state Volunteer of The Year. The Little Blue Stem chapter was the Illinois Chapter of the Year in 2016.
Since 1986, the Little Blue Stem Chapter is the leading Quail Forever Chapter in Illinois in the number of acres of wildlife habitat created or improved. In 2017, the chapter was the leading QF chapter in dollars spent supporting youth and outreach in the state and 3rd among Illinois QF chapters on spending for habitat.
Chapter officials have also been notified the local chapter was selected for a national award to be presented at the national meeting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on February 16th. The No Child Left Indoors award recognizes a chapter for their efforts in bringing the outdoors to youth through various outdoor activities. The chapter was nominated by the Illinois youth and outreach director, Katie Kazlaurich and the regional biologist, Brady Wooten. To be selected from the 600+ Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters in the U.S. is quite an honor.
Chapter members said none of this would be possible without the support received from sponsors, donors and attendees at the chapter fund raising banquet. The 2018 banquet date is April 7 at the American Farm Heritage Museum.