Friday, April 12, 2013
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Earth Day in the Parks promotes natural resources stewardship for students

Washington-Monroe among participants

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[April 12, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- More than 1,000 students will visit Illinois Department of Natural Resources state parks in April and May for the seventh annual Earth Day in the Parks. The series of events is an initiative of the Department of Natural Resources to introduce students to environmental stewardship.

"Students participating in Earth Day in the Parks will have an opportunity to perform meaningful natural resources stewardship activities, including planting native wildflowers and grasses, building bird feeding stations, and removing invasive, exotic plant species," said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

The events are sponsored by the IDNR Office of Strategic Services and Office of Land Management.

Earth Day in the Parks offers students the opportunity to get outdoors and work in nature. Their hands-on experiences will lead them to develop a sense of ownership of the natural resources in our state while also increasing available wildlife habitat. Students and teachers are encouraged to return to the park to study the effects of their work.

"This is more than just a field trip. It's an investment in a future generation of potential conservationists," Miller said. "We hope these students will continue to visit the parks, not only to witness the success of their projects, but perhaps to volunteer and develop a personal connection to a natural place."

School groups were selected by random drawings from an application process earlier this year. Money from the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund through tax checkoff donations helps to support these events at state parks through May 1.

Students from Washington-Monroe Elementary School in Lincoln will visit Weldon Springs State Park on the morning of April 26.

Earth Day in the Parks sites, dates and participating schools are listed below in alphabetical order by site.

  • Argyle Lake State Park
    640 Argyle Park Road
    Colchester, IL 62326
    Phone 309-776-3422
    May 2, 9 a.m.-noon
    Southeastern High School, Augusta

  • Beall Woods State Park
    9285 Beall Woods Ave.
    Mount Carmel, IL 62863
    Phone 618-298-2442
    May 1, 9-11:30 a.m.
    Red Hill High School, Bridgeport, and
    Lawrenceville High School, Lawrenceville
    May 2, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Grayville High School, Grayville

  • Cache River Wetlands Center
    8885 State Route 37 S.
    Cypress, IL 62923
    Phone 618-657-2064
    April 12, noon-1:30 p.m.
    Metropolis Elementary School, Metropolis

  • Eldon Hazlet State Park
    20100 Hazlet Park Road
    Carlyle, IL 62231
    Phone 618-594-3015
    May 10, 9-11:30 a.m.
    Carlyle High School, Carlyle

  • Ferne Clyffe State Park
    State Highway 37 South
    Goreville, IL 62939
    Phone 618-995-2411
    April 25, 9-11 a.m.
    Meridian Elementary School, Mounds

  • Fort Massac State Park
    1308 E. Fifth St.
    Metropolis, IL 62960
    Phone 618-524-4712
    April 19, noon-2 p.m.
    Metropolis Elementary School, Metropolis

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  • Giant City State Park
    235 Giant City Road
    Makanda, IL 62958
    Phone 618-524-4712
    April 18, 9-11 a.m.
    Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale

  • IDNR Headquarters
    One Natural Resources Way
    Springfield, IL 62702
    Phone 217-524-4126
    April 25, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
    Carlinville Primary School, Carlinville
    April 26, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
    St. Aloysius School, Springfield

  • Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA
    10149 County Highway 11
    Chandlerville, IL 62627
    Phone 217-452-7741
    April 11, 9:30 a.m.-noon
    Astoria High School, Astoria

  • Lincoln Trail State Park
    16985 E. 1350th Road
    Marshall, IL 62441
    Phone 309-264-6134
    April 25, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
    North Elementary School, Marshall

  • Mermet Lake Conservation Area
    1812 Grinnell Road
    Belknap, IL 62908
    Phone 618-524-5577
    April 12, noon-2 p.m.
    Jefferson Elementary School, Metropolis

  • Pere Marquette State Park
    13112 Visit Center Lane
    Grafton, IL 62037
    Phone 618-357-2574
    April 19, 10:15 a.m.-noon
    Evangelical Elementary School, Godfrey
    April 25, 10 a.m.-noon
    Southwestern High School, Piasa

  • Pyramid State Recreation Area
    1562 Pyramid Park Road
    Pinckneyville, IL 62274
    Phone 618-357-2574
    April 17, 9 a.m.-noon
    St. Bruno School, Pinckneyville

  • Volo Bog State Natural Area
    28478 W. Brandenburg Road
    Ingleside, IL 60041
    Phone 815-344-1294
    April 18, 9:30 a.m.-noon
    Matthews Middle School, Island Lake

  • Weldon Springs State Park
    4734 Weldon Springs Road
    Clinton, IL 61727
    Phone 217-935-2644
    April 26, 10 a.m.-noon
    Washington-Monroe Elementary School, Lincoln, and Monticello Middle School, Monticello

  • William Powers State Recreation Area
    12949 S. Ave. O
    Chicago, IL 60633
    Phone 773-646-3270
    May 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Two Chicago schools through the Mighty Acorns program

[Text from Illinois Department of Natural Resources file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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