Expo Center presents bald eagle days

Bald Eagle Days are back in the Quad Cities. This three-day event is meant to educate and inform the public about active conservation efforts.
Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 7:23 PM CST
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - For decades, the QCCA Expo Center in Illinois has hosted one of the largest conservation events in the Quad Cities area, and this weekend they’ve continued on this legacy.

Bald Eagle Days are back in the Quad Cities. This three-day event, hosted Jan. 7-9, is meant to educate and inform the public about active conservation efforts.

“It’s all about kids getting out here and learning all about the animals and having a good time,” Joe Junker, director of the Expo Center, said. “At the end of the day the Quad City Expo Center is a non-profit organization, and the whole purpose of that is to give money to conservation projects within a 90-mile radius.”

Starting back in 1989, the Expo Center hosted Bald Eagle Days to show people the importance of protecting nature. In addition to education, many vendors and supported non-profits come to further the message of natural preservation in our community.

“We like to get the public involved in camping and outdoor recreation, in our conservation we like to do events like these to get the word out there,” Mari Kelley, park ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers, said.

During this time of the year, the Army Corps of Engineers hosts eagle-watching and lock and dam tours. In hosting these tours the Army Corps is spreading awareness of both aquatic life, and our healthy population of bald eagles. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service have increased from only 417 eagle nests in 1963, to over 71-thousand currently.

“We give people an opportunity to see these animals and understand them so you may still be scared of snakes or bats but at least you understand how they operate and what they do,” Junker said.

The Expo Center will host the final Bald Eagle Day Sunday, but Junker says they host wildlife organizations throughout the year on weekends until March. To get in touch with the Army Corps of Engineers, they encourage people to call 309-794-5338, or email at mvrodmn15@usace.army.mil.