Press Release

Notching 100 years of conservation leadership, Izaak Walton League returns to Illinois roots for convention July 20-22


EAST PEORIA, ILL, July 15, 2022 –  The Izaak Walton League will celebrate 100 years of conserving America’s woods, waters and wildlife in East Peoria, July 20-22.

Founded in Chicago in 1922, the League has been the driving force behind most of the nation’s key environmental laws and policies over the past century.

This annual convention will include nationally known speakers who will address topics ranging from community-based science to soil health, nutrition and climate change. The Illinois Division of the League is hosting the convention.

WHO:        Izaak Walton League members and chapters from across the U.S.

WHAT:      100th anniversary convention, speakers and business meeting

WHERE:    Embassy Suites, 100 Conference Center Dr., East Peoria, Ill. 61611

WHEN:      July 20-22, 2022


Vision for our next 100 years: Wednesday, July 20, 11:00 am

  • Vicki Arnold, national president, Izaak Walton League of America

Response to climate change: Wednesday, July 20, 2:30 pm

  • Chris Gloninger, chief meteorologist, KCCI-TV, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director of Energy Storage Research, US Department of Energy (remote)

The future of shooting sports, engaging new audiences: Thursday, July 21, 9:15 am

  • Ginny Thrasher, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, air rifle (pre-recorded)

Bringing soil health to your kitchen table: Thursday, July 21, 9:30 am

  • David Montgomery, PhD., author of “What Your Food Ate” and other books

The future of volunteer science: Thursday July 21, 12:30

  • Darlene Cavalier, founder of SciStarter, a global online science hub (remote)


Contact Michael Reinemer for details or interview opportunities:; 703-966-9574. National spokespeople from the League are available to speak with the press.

Background for Izaak Walton League

In January 1922, a group of concerned anglers and hunters gathered in Chicago to create an organization to stop the destruction and degradation of America’s streams, natural areas and wildlife habitat. They named the organization after Izaak Walton, a 17th century conservationist and author of the Compleat Angler. Today, the League continues to face down dire threats including climate change, pollution and loss of habitat.

As League looks to a second century, it’s worth noting its achievements from its first, which include now-established, bedrock conservation practices, policies and laws that protect outdoor America. View 43 milestones that mark some of the League’s achievements. See more at

Illinois History of Izaak Walton League (highlights)

  • 1922: The Izaak Walton League of America was founded in Chicago, January 14. 
  • 1924:  League led the establishment of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, which follows the Mississippi through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.
  • 1930: Illinois Division is instrumental is getting General Assembly to pass the first bond issue for conservation funded by hunting and fishing licenses.
  • 1951: A tree-planting project results in thousands of trees planted on several hundred acres of the Shawnee National Forest. 
  • 1966-1978: Efforts to protect giant Canada geese ultimately result in purchase of several hundred acres to create the Giant Goose Conservation Education Workshop and preserve the subspecies, once thought to be extinct. Today, the area includes roads, nature trails and learning center and is used for fishing, camping, boating, fossil hunting and bird watching.
  • 1987: The League’s Blackhawk chapter completes a 14-year process of creating the Oak Valley Eagle Refuge along the Mississippi River, later renamed the Elton E Fawks Bald Eagle Refuge.

Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League fights for clean air and water, healthy fish and wildlife habitat and conservation of our natural resources for future generations. The League plays a unique role in supporting community-based science and local conservation and has a long legacy of shaping sound national policy. See Learn about the League’s century of conservation leadership at


Michael Reinemer, Communications Director and Editor, Outdoor America;; 703-966-9574 or 301-548-0150 ext 220

    • Conservation
    • Environmental history

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