(Belleville, IL. September 2019) On Saturday September 14th, members and staff from the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois (RASI) took part in Belleville Helping Belleville Day at the Signal Hill Outdoor Classroom. During the morning, members cleared the area of invasive species and created log amphitheaters for students.
The Signal Hill Outdoor Classroom is a part of HeartLands Conservancy Lots of Love Initiative. The goal of the project is to increase the number and type of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, while beautifying the neighborhood and improving water quality. The Outdoor Classroom is used both by Signal Hill and Blessed Sacrament students. The students not only use the classroom to learn about animal and plant species, but also volunteer in the outdoor space as well. The City of Belleville is an extremely active partner in this project and assist in the site’s ongoing development. Funding for the project is provided by Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, American Water Environmental Grant, Clif Bar Family Foundation, and Private Donations.
“Community outreach and service are a very important part of our jobs as REALTORS® and members of the community,” remarks Renee Wittenauer, Chairperson of the RASI Community Involvement Task Force. “We, as REALTORS® and businesspeople are involved in the real estate industry, not only work in the Metro-East, but we live here too, so we strive to help make our communities a better place for all. Being able to partner with Heartland Conservancy is a perfect way for us to support these students and allow them to enjoy and learn about nature. We are happy to be able to help with this special project!”
RASI members also dedicated a bench that had been installed earlier in the week. Mayor Eckert took part in the bench dedication as did Dean Hardt (Treasurer for the City of Belleville), Mary Vandevord (President/CEO of HeartLands Conservancy), Peggy Schifferdecker (Membership/Event Manager, Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce), RASI CEO Deb Frazier, REALTOR® members Sam Row (Keller Williams Marquee, Columbia), Lindy Kurtz (RE/MAX Results Realty, Columbia), Rebecca Bollinger (Keller Williams Marquee, Edwardsville), Renee Wittenauer (Kunkel Wittenauer Group, Inc., O’Fallon) and John Grissom (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservice, Fairview Heights). The bench was created from plastic lids and bottle caps collected by RASI members over a 6-month span of time. Members of the community can find the bench just off the bike path, where anyone can sit and take in the beautiful views of nature.
Directions to the Signal Hill Outdoor Classroom: Park at Signal Hill Elementary or along Signal Park Lane next to the Signal Hill Bike Trail. Walk southeast along the Bike Trail. The outdoor classroom site will be located on the right before you get to Superior Drive. Contact Sarah Vogt with questions: 618-566-4451 ext 23 firstname.lastname@example.org