Trees, art and museums add quality to life

It's easy to be overwhelmed with controversial issues dominating the news. There are many positive things happening in the capital city. Here's a sampling.

• Leland Grove is partnering with Trees Forever to inventory all the trees on the public rights-of-way. Knowing what trees already exist helps communities plan for maintenance and future plantings. Leland Grove has many big, old trees that contribute to the character of the community and provide many other benefits. A diversity of ages and species is important in building a healthy community forest that is more resilient to the next pests, storms and other challenges. The inventory began recently and will continue in the spring. Volunteer master naturalists and master gardeners are helping with the project.

• The Kidzeum is moving full STEAM ahead. Starting Nov. 8, Kidzeum and Springfield District 186 are launching an immersive STEAM residency program. Cohorts of second-graders will come to the Kidzeum for a two-week cross-curricular learning experience combining math, literacy, science, social studies and the arts. District teachers are partnering with Kidzeum educators to provide this dynamic learning experience throughout the school year.

•On My Own Time is an initiative of the Springfield Area Arts Council to help local employers recognize and celebrate the artistic talents of their employees. This year 87 artists submitted 186 works of art. Local artists judged the entries, and 61 pieces of art were selected for the 24th city-wide exhibit on display at the M.G. Nelson Family Gallery at the Springfield Art Association Nov. 3-20.

• The Illinois State Museum is opening a new retail shop with a grand opening on Sat., Nov. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Prior to the closure of the Illinois State Museum by former Governor Rauner, the Illinois State Museum Store was a popular shopping destination. Since the reopening there hasn't been a retail store in the museum until now. Museum Society members are invited to a special preview event in advance of the grand opening.

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  • "Voices and Votes"

    @ Jacksonville Area Museum

    Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Dec. 22