EAST MOLINE - The foot of the I-80 Bridge on the Illinois side is in the middle of a huge transformation.
Living Lands & Waters started the I-80 Restoration Project in February 2017. It's Illinois' largest restoration project ever and has been a vision of Chad Pregracke, the Founder of Living Lands & Waters, for more than 20 years. On June 8th, WQAD News 8 checked in with Dan Breidenstein, Project Coordinator, to see what progress is being made. Breidenstein was our Guest on our weekly "Breakfast With..." segment on Good Morning Quad Cities.
Living Lands & Waters is working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and Vermeer in East Moline to cut down trees impacted by last year's tornado, remove invasive species, and clear debris. People in the community have been helping out, too:
“It’s cool to see the land transform, but it’s really cool to see the community get involved," said Breidenstein. "We’ve had so much output saying - 'Hey, how can we help out? The tornado affected us too. What can we do to help?' - and just to see the community want to take pride in what people see as their first impression of Illinois when they travel on Interstate 80 and their last impression as they’re leaving, we want to make that a good one.”
Breidenstein says Living Lands & Waters hopes to plant prairie in that area by the end of the year. After that is done, they would also like to connect the bike path to the Mississippi Rapids Rest Area:
Breidenstein says he hopes this project ends up being a model for other places in the years to come.
There are going to be more projects coming up and volunteers will be needed. If you would like to get more information on the I-80 Restoration Project, click here. To sign up to volunteer, click here.
For the breakfast portion of our "Breakfast With..." segment this week, we had a special delivery from Porter's Village in Hampton, Illinois. WQAD News 8 learned about the family behind the business and the menu items they're known for: