Suzanne Hart, president of the Forest Preserve Board, welcomed the group and noted the importance of the chamber and the growth that it helps bring to the region.
"To have all of you here, that means a lot to us," she said.
Christina Van Yperen, the Chamber's executive director, said Four Rivers was a perfect venue for the Business After Hours event because it helps chamber members become more aware of what Four Rivers and the preserve around it have to offer in terms of educational and recreational opportunities.
"The Forest Preserve District supplies so much right here, it was a great opportunity for us to inform our members," she said.
The "Water|Ways" exhibit explores the significance of water in the human experience. Free and open to the public, the traveling exhibit is a collaboration of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program and Illinois Humanities, and it will be on display through March 11.
Channahon Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher said the water-themed exhibit and the location of Four Rivers made it a great site for a gathering.
"Water is obviously crucial to Channahon, from our history with Potawatomie Indians and the I&M Canal and our industry and commerce here on the rivers," she said. "And still to this day, water is such a central part of our agricultural community and the sustaining of life in this area."
Schumacher encouraged everyone to view "Water|Ways" related exhibits being held elsewhere in the village.
Three exhibits are on display at the Channahon Municipal Center:
• The Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management exhibit explores the dangers and impact of unplanned development and human activity in the floodplain. • The Aqua Illinois Sourcewater protection display includes information on sand accumulation, sourcewater protection, the RiverWatch program and macroinvertebrates. • A Student Water-Themed Art Exhibit features individual works of art using a variety of media produced by Channahon grade school students.
The Three Rivers Public Library features one exhibit:
• Looking Back at Life Along Channahon's Waterways consists of photos and memorabilia from the history of the village and the surrounding area.
Photo caption: Grundy County Chamber of Commerce members and Forest Preserve staff tour the “Water|Ways” exhibit on February 16 at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. Pictured from left to right are: Ralph Schultz, the Forest Preserve’s chief operating officer; Suzanne Hart, president of the Forest Preserve Board; Channahon Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher; Christina Van Yperen, the chamber’s executive director; and Matt Meacham, program manager, access, for Illinois Humanities.