Chicago Sun Times masthead and headline Jan 19 2022

As the Izaak Walton League of America marks its 100th anniversary year, we celebrate both our incredible legacy and our ongoing success. See where our efforts – both past and present – are getting noticed in the media.


Izaak Walton League of America, founded in Chicago, celebrates its 100th anniversary

The Murray Baker Bridge over the Illinois River lit up green and gold at night this week in honor of the 100th anniversary national convention of the Izaak Walton League of America.

East Peoria was an apt choice.

On Jan. 14, 1922, 54 fly fishermen met at the Chicago Athletic Club and formed what became the Izaak Walton League.

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Scott Kovarovics, Executive Director at the Izaak Walton League of America

Host Howard Fox talks to our Scott Kovarovics about the League's extraordinary history, the challenges we're tackling next, and how everyone can make a difference for conservation.

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The Izaak Walton League — a century of conservation leadership

One hundred years ago in 1922, a group of sportsmen and like-minded outdoor enthusiasts set out to help combat the pollution that was ravaging the newly industrialized world. They would name this group after noted author and environmentalist, Izaak Walton.

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Conservation group holds membership drive for 100th anniversary

What started as a group of fishers and hunters trying to preserve America’s waterways and natural areas has grown into a conservancy organization with 200 chapters nationwide. This year marks the Izaak Walton League of America’s 100th anniversary.

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Mrvan acknowledges Izaak Walton League 100th anniversary

U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Highland, congratulated the Izaak Walton League of America for the 100th anniversary of its founding and for its significant list of accomplishments across the nation by reading a prepared statement into the Congressional Record on March 15th.

Founded in Chicago in 1922 by a group of 54 anglers and hunters, the League has built an impressive record of conservation and environmental achievements that pre-date the creation of the modern environmental agencies and programs of the 1970s.

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Lois Green-Sligo Chapter looks back at 100-year legacy of Izaak Walton League

The Lois Green-Sligo (LGS) Chapter of the Izaak Walton League has provided conservation and outdoor recreation activities for local residents since it was founded in 1949.

Having started as the Women’s Auxiliary for the Wildlife Achievement Chapter, LGS became co-ed in the 1980’s, always remembering its mission for conservation education and outreach. Since moving to Gaithersburg in the 1970’s from the Takoma Park area (thus the “Sligo” portion of our historical name) the chapter has been successful in maintaining 63 beautiful acres of woodlands, offering outdoor recreation opportunities for the community and holding events to raise awareness. Our grounds were donated by conservation farmer Lois Green.

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Local Izaak Walton League chapter celebrates 80 years of service

The Izaak Walton League – one of America’s oldest conservation organizations – turns 100 this year, and 2022 also marks the 80th anniversary of the local Harry Enstrom chapter.

The chapter, led by president Ken Yonek, has big plans to commemorate the two major milestones – and is seeking new members with fresh ideas to join the club.

“You want the membership, but you want the input from the community,” said Yonek, who’s entering his first year as president. “What easier way for making a happy member or a happy officer than to be able to support programs that they’re interested in.”

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An Appreciation for the Izaak Walton League: Founded in Chicago, the IWLA turned 100 last week

For some of us, conservation and environmentalism are of biblical importance.

So I understood what Michael Reinemer meant when I asked if he had photos of the meeting in Chicago where the Izaak Walton League was formed 100 years ago on Jan. 14, 1922.

“We don’t have a photo from that 1922 meeting but we do have the actual tablecloth on which the 54 organizers signed with dollar amounts pledged to the new organization,” emailed Reinemer, communications director for the IWL of America. “It’s sort of a mess, but in terms of its significance to us it’s like the Shroud of Turin.”

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Beyond the Headlines

PETER DYKSTRA: This week in January 2022: 100 years ago, 54 avid sport fishermen met in Chicago and agreed to launch a new national organization, the Izaak Walton League, making it a nationwide force to protect streams and wetlands.

JENNI DOERING: Well, what prompted this? What brought these 54 sport fishermen together?

DYKSTRA: While fishing, there were fishermen and fisherwomen who saw the tremendous impact that pollution was having on both fresh and salt water. They named their organization after historic icon Izaak Walton, who was a 17th-century English conservationist. And the organization lovingly nicknamed "The Ike" is a vanishing link between mostly liberal environmental groups and generally more conservative hook and bullet conservationists.

DOERING: Well, a very happy 100th birthday to the Izaak Walton League.

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"Citizen Science" Leads Group to Conservation Achievements

One hundred years ago today, the Izaak Walton League of America was founded in Chicago, with a mission of local stewardship of wild places, citizen science and celebrating outdoor traditions, and for the future, its leaders are spotlighting the value of community-led conservation.

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We'll send you our monthly Conservation Currents e-newsletter, packed with updates on the League's programs and activities. We'll also send you periodic opportunities to take action on the conservation causes you care about. We never sell or share your information, and you can unsubscribe any time.

Want to hear more news about the Izaak Walton League? Subscribe to our newsletters!

We'll send you our monthly Conservation Currents e-newsletter, packed with updates on the League's programs and activities. We'll also send you periodic opportunities to take action on the conservation causes you care about. We never sell or share your information, and you can unsubscribe any time.