Indian Creek Newsletter

December, 2005

on the web at



                           Christmas Party


Towanda’s Christmas party will be on Wednesday, December 14th from 6:30 - 8:00 at the Community Building.  There will be Santa, crafts, games, treats, surprises.



          Pork Chop Dinner


Pork chop dinner Dec. 9th, 5:30 to 7:30, at the Legion Hall on Hely Street on the south edge of town (just before the curve on the Towanda Barnes blacktop).  Carry outs available.




School News


3rd grade Sing for Seniors, Wed. Dec. 14, 12:30, Community Building


Winter Music program, K-2, Thu. Dec. 15, 6:30pm


Holiday assembly, Tue. Dec. 20, 1:30 in gym, Classroom parties, 2:15


Unit 5 Winter Break begins Thu. Dec. 22


Students return to school on Thu. Jan. 5, 2006



Towanda Area Historical Society


Logo and Slogan Contest entries are due Thu.Jan.5, 2006

Mail to:  TAHS; PO Box 217; Towanda IL 61776

Include a sketch and/or phrase.



Welcome New Neighbors


Please welcome Gary and Letitia (Tish) Hamblen, their 10 year old daughter Kate and their fluffy white curly haired miniature poodle, Max Tod, who all moved to 8 Eastwood Court two days before Thanksgiving.  The Hamblen family moved here from Austin, Texas when Gary took a new position with State Farm.  They were attracted by the beautiful trees and woods in Indian Creek, but are facing quite a different climate.  They experienced two weeks of 100 degree weather in Texas a few weeks before moving here.  Tish, a former board member of the Friends of the Austin Library, and her family are all avid readers and she checked out the Towanda Library soon after moving here.  Gary used to work with Steve Jurovic 20 years ago, and the Hamblens are happy to be reunited with their old friends.



Towanda Library News (on the web at


Mitten Tree Project   Through Jan.


The Towanda library is working with radio station STAR 107.7 and other local public libraries on a MITTEN TREE project. We will collect scarves, hats, mittens and coats at the library until Jan.  3. New and used items are welcome (used items must be cleaned and in good condition). These will be distributed to kids in need in the Central Illinois area.


Teen movie nights   3rd Friday of the month, 6pm (12/16, 1/20)


For students 7th grade & up.  Registration is helpful but not required.  Movies are carefully selected and will be G, PG or PG13.


Holiday Family Movies   (no registration is necessary)


Thurs., Dec. 15, 6-7:30pm:  “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” movie and craft.

Sat., Dec. 17: 1pm: “Prancer”

Wed. Dec. 28, 1pm:  The Princess Bride”


Kids: Make an inexpensive home-made holiday gift to give to mom and dad Tues., Dec.6, 4-5:30 pm


Children’s volunteer and former resident of Towanda, Keri Marley, will have everything you need to make holiday gifts for your mom and dad or for another special adult.  Cost is $4.00 to cover the cost of supplies for two gifts.  Register 1pm on Sat., Dec. 3.  Payment is due on the date of the program.  This program is open to children in the library district in grades K-5.


book cover: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Friends of the Towanda District Library  Wed., Jan 11 from 5-6pm


Next regular meeting, at the library.  All are welcome!


TOWANDA READS book discussion group  Wed., Jan 11 from 6-7pm. 


We will discuss the #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith


Winter Soups with Chef DeAnna   Mon., Jan. 23, 2006  7-9pm


Chef DeAnna from Kitchen Connection, a personal chef service, will offer a program full of tips on how to make tasty winter soups.   She will make a soup for you to eat, so bring your appetite and have a light supper of bread and soup on us! Max. 12 participants; Register in advance.


STORY TIME for 3-5 year olds


The 11:00-11:30am eight-week Wednesday morning sessions are as follows for the 05-06 school year:
    Session 3:  Jan. 18 - Mar. 8, 2006
    Session 4:  Apr. 5 - May 24, 2006


Register for any of these programs by stopping by or calling the library at 728-2176.




Indian Creek Fall Work Day - Phase 2


On a cool and overcast fall day, November 12th, a small group of neighborhood volunteers, Sue Arnold, Dennis Maze, Jim Russell, Brian Krause, and Helen Mogill, tackled the second phase of the planned nature area restoration project.   The group cleared the area around one of the magnificent oak trees that stands along the right side trail leading out of the meadow area after you pass the well head.  People who walk the trails will now be able to completely see and fully appreciate this magnificent tree.  Clearing this tree to its drip edges brings in more light and will encourage new red oak samplings to sprout.  We had hoped to find some existing saplings, but found none.


An interesting article, Woodlands of Central Illinois, by Frank Hassler, University of Illinois Environmental Resources, can be found on the web at  In this article, Mr. Hassler describes the types of woodlands that were once common to this area.  Our nature area provides us with a combination of three of the four types of woodlands he mentions: savanna (our ‘meadow’ in the middle of the nature area), floodplain or lowland forest (the low areas that flood each spring), and oak-hickory woodlands (in the areas that receive less flooding).  The savanna and oak-hickory woodlands were maintained by fire, so the woodlands of today look far different than they did when the settlers first arrived in this area in the early 1800’s.


Mr. Hassler states, “Oak-Hickory woodlands were probably the most common type of wooded community in pre-settlement times. Various species such as red oak, white oak, and several species of hickory dominated, but you would find maples, elms and other trees in them as well. In spring there would be a plethora of spring perennial wildflowers such as trilliums, Dutchman's britches and Virginia waterleaf. The woodland was open enough that there would be green grasses and blooming wildflowers, such as elm-leaf goldenrod, smooth blue aster and American bellflower. It was fire that killed off many of the smaller trees and species of trees that are not fire tolerant, which kept these woods so open.”


The oaks needed periodic fires to reduce under story in order for the young oaks to survive.  We hope to take the place of the fires with our clean up efforts. 


The savannahs also needed periodic files to maintain them.  “Despite their previous abundance, savannas are almost nonexistent today. Because of their dependency on fire, if they weren't tilled under for cropland, an oak-hickory woodland or closed canopy forest invaded the area and succeeded the savanna.”  The periodic mowing that we do in the nature area can give us a slight hint of what a savannah may have been like.  Today true savannas “…are so rare that very little is known for sure about the savanna habitat.”


To see a local prairie, savanna, and woodland restoration area, travel just a few miles down the Gridley blacktop to the Parkland Foundation Merwin Preserve.   The main entrance is accessible from the west gate just north of the Mackinaw River bridge on 1925E (Gridley Blacktop).  There is also an entrance along Lake Bloomington Road, heading east towards Lexington.  Visit for more information about the Parkland Foundation.


The work day originally planned for December 10th has been canceled due to weather.  There will be more work days planned for next spring.




Steve Liebenow Memorial Scholarship


The Towanda Lions is pleased to announce that Brant Kaufmann is this year's 2005 recipient of the Steve Liebenow Memorial Scholarship.  Brant is the son of Jim and Nancy Kaufmann, 12 Eastwood Court, Indian Creek Subdivision.  He is attending Judson College in Elgin, Illinois and plans to obtain a Masters Degree in Architecture.


Brant's high school activities included:  Soccer, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bowling Club, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, IHSA Scholastic Achievement Award recipient, and Big 12 Scholar Athlete.  He was also an Eagle Scout and worked summers for Charlie Knapp Construction.


This scholarship was made in honor of Steve Liebenow who was a great educator, community leader, and fellow Lion.     



PTO News




THANK YOU to all those who supported our recent fundraiser!  Your contributions added up to just over $7000 and will help pay for projects for the students and school. With some of the money that was earned, a new entry rug and 3 runners were purchased. All the rugs are black and orange. They vary in designs with school name and pictures of a bulldog and paw prints. They should last a long time and will help to keep the bad weather from being tracked into the school. Be watching the office and entryway for their arrival!




Do you give gift cards during the holiday season? Consider buying them all in one place-using SCRIP - it's easy just call Amy Kinsella 728-2000. There are new additions to the list of what is available. You can view them on the newly redesigned PTO website. Just go to "school websites" from your choices on; click on "Towanda" and choose "PTO"; then choose "links" and "Scrip." While you're there, check out the new website. PTO is very appreciative of all Mr. Nourie's hard work on the website! Thank You!




Ask your kids if they are cleaning their hands before lunch. PTO recently purchased aloe free hand sanitizer for the optional use of all students at lunch time.



            Blowing Garbage Cans


A neighbor asks that we all remember to bring in our garbage cans as soon as possible after garbage pick-up.  Otherwise, a windy day can result in cans blowing into others’ yards.