Becky Doyle

Becky Doyle

A problem as old as dirt

Spread the love

By Becky Doyle

Most Illinoisans do not realize that the most important resource in our state is right under their feet.

Illinois soils are more appreciated globally than they are right here at home. Long valued for their world-class productive capacity, our soils are now also known to be capable of:

  • Protecting water quality.
  • Providing habitat and ecosystem diversity.
  • Sequestering atmospheric carbon by supporting abundant plant growth that results in carbon dioxide absorption and storage.

Back in 1937, the Illinois Legislature recognized the importance of protecting Illinois’ greatest assets by creating local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, then supporting them with state funding. The work of those districts dramatically changed the way farmers and others managed land, rainwater and surface water supplies. Over that same time frame, the legislature supported research that provided best soil management methods and the extension of that knowledge throughout the state.

GSWNH BeckyDoyle 040822

Becky Doyle

That system provided the framework for valuable work during the 20th century, and Illinois achieved the national challenge of “T by 2000”, limiting soil loss throughout the state to the level at which it replaces itself.

But, over the past two decades, state funding for these valuable programs has been reduced, while the challenges have become greater. Besides the stresses brought on by strong storms and periods of drought, we now know that it is not enough to just prevent soil loss. We must also improve and protect soil health to achieve the greatest benefits to our environment and society.

Just as with human and animal health, soil health requires focused, managed care. Farmers and landowners are willing to provide that care with improved management practices, but they need advice and credible information to guide and support their efforts.

Fortunately, Illinois citizens and the General Assembly can invest in our soil’s future at a relatively low cost by assuring passage of Senate Bill 3471. Once the bill is passed and funded, we will be able to better protect the health and beneficial capacity of Illinois soils through:

  • Rebuilding support of the county Soil and Water Conservation Districts to a level that allows them to meet 21stcentury challenges.
  • Funding innovative programs that promote cover crops and other soil health management practices (i.e., Fall Covers for Spring Savings).
  • Promoting soil health and water quality protection through the Partners for Nutrient Loss Reduction Act

Like clear air and clean water, soil health is important to all. Stewardship of our soils is a legacy project for which we can all be proud, and for which future generations will be grateful. The strategic support provided by Senate Bill 3471 will get us back on that legacy track.

Becky Doyle, of Gillespie, was director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture from 1991 to 1999.

Local News

The Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., has a free Seed Library available to patrons. (Supplied photo)

Worth Library offers seeds for free

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A seed library collects and stores seeds and shares them with members of the community for free. Similar to a normal library, gardeners borrow seeds from the seed library at planting time. At the end of the growing seasons, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of…

Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer joins Girl Scout Gold Award winners (from left) Maddie DeBleyzer, Aine Kelly and Lilly O'Dea during the village board meeting on Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizza eyes May opening in Oak Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Paisans Pizzeria is a step closer to opening in Oak Lawn with the approval of a liquor license for the establishment that will be part of the Stony Creek Promenade. Plans for the restaurant were originally approved at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting in March of 2022. Tom Phelan,…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…

The Palos South eighth-grade Girls Volleyball Team is: Top row (left to right) Dorian Urquizo, Annika Hock, Maja Pszczola, Elaina Yasin, Hannah Koenig, Makaleigh Terry, Maya Surdel, Brooklyn Parr, Maggie Purtill, Coach Marty Duggan. Bottom row (left to right) are Raliyah Bruce, Sarah Cairo, Sofia Wilson, Katy Zumerchik, Khadija Faisal, Alexa Morales. (Supplied photos)

Palos South eighth-grade girls volleyballers go undefeated

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Palos South’s eighth-grade girls’ volleyball team finished first in the Southwest Interscholastic Conference (SWIC) on March 9, completing an undefeated season with a record of 19-0. This is the fifth straight year that Coach Marty Duggan has led the Cardinals to a first-place finish in the tournament, which was held…

Members of the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team are competing at nationals. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley Speech and Debate Team headed to nationals to defend title

Spread the love

Spread the loveWhen the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team heads to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Reno, Nevada, for nine days this month, they’ll have a target on their back as incoming consecutive champions. But they’re ready. “Last year’s team was amazing. Everyone was on their A game. This year…

Neighbors

The Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., has a free Seed Library available to patrons. (Supplied photo)

Worth Library offers seeds for free

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A seed library collects and stores seeds and shares them with members of the community for free. Similar to a normal library, gardeners borrow seeds from the seed library at planting time. At the end of the growing seasons, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of…

Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer joins Girl Scout Gold Award winners (from left) Maddie DeBleyzer, Aine Kelly and Lilly O'Dea during the village board meeting on Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizza eyes May opening in Oak Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Paisans Pizzeria is a step closer to opening in Oak Lawn with the approval of a liquor license for the establishment that will be part of the Stony Creek Promenade. Plans for the restaurant were originally approved at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting in March of 2022. Tom Phelan,…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…

The Palos South eighth-grade Girls Volleyball Team is: Top row (left to right) Dorian Urquizo, Annika Hock, Maja Pszczola, Elaina Yasin, Hannah Koenig, Makaleigh Terry, Maya Surdel, Brooklyn Parr, Maggie Purtill, Coach Marty Duggan. Bottom row (left to right) are Raliyah Bruce, Sarah Cairo, Sofia Wilson, Katy Zumerchik, Khadija Faisal, Alexa Morales. (Supplied photos)

Palos South eighth-grade girls volleyballers go undefeated

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Palos South’s eighth-grade girls’ volleyball team finished first in the Southwest Interscholastic Conference (SWIC) on March 9, completing an undefeated season with a record of 19-0. This is the fifth straight year that Coach Marty Duggan has led the Cardinals to a first-place finish in the tournament, which was held…

Members of the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team are competing at nationals. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley Speech and Debate Team headed to nationals to defend title

Spread the love

Spread the loveWhen the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team heads to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Reno, Nevada, for nine days this month, they’ll have a target on their back as incoming consecutive champions. But they’re ready. “Last year’s team was amazing. Everyone was on their A game. This year…