Baebler Farm aims to cultivate youth - Republic-Times | News

Baebler Farm aims to cultivate youth

By on July 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

The late Vera Baebler

Down a stretch of country road south of Waterloo exists a vast expanse of land ripe with the potential for conservation projects and educational experiences.

The land at 4022 JJ Road, known as the Baebler Educational Farm, only recently became a place to cultivate programs for youth in Monroe County when the late Vera Baebler donated the property in 2014.

“Vera wanted the property to be kept in its natural state for youth, families, schools and groups to enjoy the beauty of nature through an outdoor learning environment,” said Don Schrader, Monroe County Extension & 4-H Education Foundation president.

Pictured is a pond at the west end of the farm. The hope is to have a trail constructed over the pond that allows people to get from one end to the other. (Sean McGowan photo)

Years later, the foundation has made significant strides toward honoring that agreement as Susan Rick, Baebler Educational Farm coordinator, leads the charge in maintenance, cleaning, searching for grants and developing programs and events for the farm.

“From March of last year to March of this year, we did a whole lot,” Rick said.

However, she said a lot of renovations and projects are left to be completed, and will require additional funding. That’s where a new Illinois Clean Energy Foundation grant comes into play…>>>

Read the rest of this story in the July 19 issue of the Republic-Times.

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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.