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Nahant Marsh education coordinator Amy Loving holds a black swallowtail butterfly during a bio blitz last summer at the Davenport marsh. If you, like Loving, are interested in the environment, nature and conservation, you're invited to meet up with like minded people as part of a new Quad-City group called Green Drinks.

Quad-Citians interested in the environment and conservation are invited to meet like-minded people Thursday, March 28, at the Fresh Deli restaurant at the Freight House, 421 W. River Drive, Davenport.

The gathering from 5-7 p.m. will be the first meeting of a group called Green Drinks Quad-Cities, a local affiliate of an international organization that was formed in London in 1989 and now has groups in 500 cities.

The purpose of Green Drinks is for people to get together, talk, exchange ideas about environmental issues, maybe even have fun and make new friends, said organizer Lori O'Dell McCollum, of Rock Island, representing Progressive Action for the Common Good, a Quad-City group that promotes community betterment and progressive values.

The Green Drinks group will meet the last Thursday of every month and is open to anyone.

While there are lots of environmental/conservation groups in the Quad-Cities, "most people don't know each other," McCollum said.

"It will be a loosely formed networking group; it doesn't have a specific agenda," she said of Green Drinks. "We'll just wait and see what people want to do. A few groups are structured and have speakers. Every group seems to do something different."

To spread the word, McCollum is contacting a wide swath of entities in the public, private, nonprofit and educational sectors.

This includes Sierra Club, Partners of Scott County Watersheds, Audubon Society, Earth Keepers, Niabi Zoo, Food Rescue, university Extension services, state departments of natural resources, The Nature Conservancy, Living Lands & Waters, Nahant Marsh, area colleges and others.

In Iowa, there are Green Drinks groups in Des Moines, Iowa City, Ames and elsewhere; in Illinois, groups have organized in the Chicago area as well as Peoria.

For more information, go to greendrinks.org, or email to McCollum at lori_mccollum@sbcglobal.net or Susan Leuthauser at swleuthauser@gmail.com

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