The Diana Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America in Shelby, Ind. has contracted with For Goodness Sake Productions, LLC of Valparaiso, to raise funds and produce a film on the natural and cultural history of the Kankakee River.
I am so happy to hear this.
About 10 years, my older brother Jim, an award-winning cinematographer I would proudly note, and I kicked around the idea of doing a video of the Kankakee River, and even spent a couple days paddling the Illinois side with help from Reed's Canoe Trips.
So I hope the IWL chapter can pull this off. The YouTube video above gives me some hope.
Here's the release from the IWL with details at the end for individuals or corporations who wish to contribute:
A local conservation group, a self-described Kankakee "river rat," and a city girl with a camera have joined forces to produce a full length documentary on the Kankakee River in Indiana and Illinois.
The Diana Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) in Shelby, Indiana has entered into a contract with For Goodness Sake Productions, LLC of Valparaiso, to raise funds and produce a film on the natural and cultural history of the River.
The Grand Kankakee Marsh was once of the richest wildlife habitats in North America before it was drained. "The stark, foreboding wilderness of the great Kankakee marshes was right here where our chapter property sits" says chapter Treasurer Guy Carlson. "These bayous and backwaters are the reason the basin is still as undeveloped as it is."
Jeff Manes, a free-lance journalist and former steelworker, spent most of his life within a stone's throw of the river. "I lived in Sumava and grew up on Rt. 10 with LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area as my backyard" he said. Research for his locally published columns is finding "all kinds of fascinating history and photographs."
Manes' friend, Patty Wisniewski, also a former steelworker, founded For Goodness Sake Productions LLC in 2008 and has been infected with his zeal to learn more about the history of the river. "We've just started working on this and have found so many interesting people and stories and the wildlife down here is just incredible. We actually got a whooping crane on film in March," referring to one of the rarest birds in North America.
Carlson said the Izaak Walton League has been advocating for a partial restoration of the river and marshes since 1934. "Our position is that a well planned restoration can decrease flooding and erosion problems in both states and it can be done in a way that would attract visitors."
Manes said the intent of the film is to educate everyone about the past and present of the river. "There are serious problems with the river. We can fix these problems and turn the river in Indiana into a tourist destination like it is in Illinois."
A promotional short can be found on YouTube by searching for "Indiana's Everglades."
Donations are being solicited from individuals, businesses, and foundations.
Tax deductible donations can be sent to the Diana Chapter IWLA at P.0. Box 110, Shelby, IN. 46377.
It seems like an outstanding cause to me.