Illinois Recreational Access Program Coordinator Eric Wright uses prescribed fire to maintain a healthy habitat.

EAST ALTON – Neighbor Nights are back after a brief holiday hiatus.

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“We’re back from the holidays with another great list of topics for you to explore at Neighbor Nights in 2018,” Environmental Educator Allison Rhanor said.

Neighbor Nights @NGRREC takes place on the first Tuesday of every month.

Upcoming topics include: February – Prescribed Burns; March – Global Connections through the Swarovski Waterschool; April – Private Land Conservation Programs; May – Japanese Hops; and June – Watershed Management.

Illinois Recreational Access Program Coordinator Eric Wright will talk about prescribed burns during February’s Neighbor Night at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Feb. 6.

“Fire is a natural process that helps maintain healthy and sustainable habitats,” Wright said. “Come learn how natural resource managers use prescribed fire on a variety of habitats in Illinois.”

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A tour of NGRREC’s LEED certified facilities will run from 6-7 p.m., the talk will start at 7 p.m.

“Many will remember the recent fires that occurred along the River Road,” Rhanor said. “This is a great opportunity for the public to come and ask our staff any questions they may have about these events.”

Visitors are free to come and go as they please. Limited snacks will be available.

The March Neighbor Night’s topic will be global connections through the Swarovski Waterschool presented by Director of Environmental Education & Citizen Science Natalie Marioni.

Visitors can come learn how local students participating in NGRREC’s Swarovski Waterschool program are engaging with their peers across the globe through an exchange of water-related drawings and letters.

March’s Neighbor Night will showcase some of these global exchanges by Swarovski Waterschool students as a precursor to a World Water Day event NGRREC will host on March 22.

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds and their associated communities.

To learn more about NGRREC, visit Those with questions about Neighbor Nights can contact Rhanor at

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