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 Earth Day in the Parks  

Listen to the podcast of this information.

Earth Day in the Parks

"I feel like I am really making a difference."  2013 Student participant at Beall Woods State Park

View the results of some Earth Day in the Parks projects.

See the list of participating state parks at the bottom of this page. Applications are still being accepted for a few parks.

Click here to download the 2014 application form.

What is it?

Earth Day in the Parks is an event to promote stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. During April and May, students and their teachers from throughout Illinois will come to participating Illinois state parks to take part in natural resources stewardship activities such as: planting native trees and wildflowers; building and installing nesting/roosting boxes; removing invasive exotic species; and building brush piles for wildlife. Students will be helping the environment and wildlife, participating in outdoor activities to increase their fitness and learning that their actions can make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to return to the state park to see and study the results of their work. Some classes may want to perform additional volunteer work at the park.

Who sponsors this event?

Earth Day in the Parks is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Funds have been contributed toward this event from many individuals and organizations and for 2014 a grant was received from the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.

When is it?

Earth Day in the Parks is held in April and May. Dates vary by location. The table below shows the 2014 event information.

Can my class participate?

The IDNR Division of Education accepts applications from teachers who would like for their class to participate in the program. Only one application per teacher will be accepted. Do not include more than one teacher's class on the application form. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications are accepted from January 1, 2014, through February 28, 2014. Winners will be provided with additional information. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of the projects that students will be working on, parks have grade-level and other restrictions for participants.

 What else should I know?

  • Classes will be at the park for approximately two hours.
  • Schools are responsible for their own transportation arrangements and transportation costs.
  • Each class will need to bring one adult per every five students attending the event.
  • Applications will only be accepted from schools registered with the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Gloves, plants, tools and other equipment, materials and instructions will be provided.
  • A school administrator will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the school and the IDNR.

  2014 Participating Sites

(now adding 2014 locations - last updated 3/4/2014)

Park

City

Project

Date

Grade Levels

Argyle Lake State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Colchester
construct a vernal pool for amphibians
May 1, 2014 - a.m. session
any of grades 9-12
Argyle Lake State Park
Colchester
construct a vernal pool for amphibians
May 1, 2014 - p.m. session
any of grades 9-12

Beall Woods State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Mt. Carmel
install tree protectors and mulch around native tree seedlings
April 30, 2014
any of grades 9-12

Beall Woods State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Mt. Carmel
install tree protectors and mulch around native tree seedlings
May 1, 2014
any of grades 3-12

Cache River Wetlands Center

 

Cypress
plant native prairie wildflowers
April 24, 2014
any of grades 4-12

Cache River Wetlands Center

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Cypress
plant native prairie wildflowers
April 25, 2014
any of grades 4-12

Clinton Lake State Recreation Area

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

De Witt
plant two butterfly gardens
April 23, 2014
grade 5
Fort Massac State Park
Metropolis
plant native wildflowers and trees; build and install bluebird nesting boxes
April 24, 2014
any of grades 4-12

Giant City State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Makanda
plant a butterfly garden
April 10, 2014
any of grades 3-4

I and M Canal State Trail

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Morris
build and install fish attractors
May 1, 2014
grades 7 or 8

Illinois Beach State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Zion
plant native prairie wildflowers and grasses
April 22, 2014
any of grades K-12

IDNR Headquarters

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Springfield

plant native prairie wildflowers and grasses and build bat roosting boxes

April 24, 2014

any of grades 3-8

Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Chandlerville
plant native prairie wildflowers and grasses
April 10, 2014
any of grades 9-12

Lincoln Trail State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Marshall
plant native prairie wildflowers and grasses
April 10, 2014
grade 6
Mermet Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Belknap
plant native wildflowers and build and install bluebird nesting boxes
April 17, 2014
any of grades 4-12

Moraine Hills State Park/McHenry Dam

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

McHenry
plant native prairie wildflowers and grasses
April 17, 2014 - a.m. session
any of grades 7-10

Moraine Hills State Park/McHenry Dam

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

McHenry
plant native prairie wildflowers and grasses
April 17, 2014 - p.m. session
any of grades 7-10

Pere Marquette State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Grafton
remove invasive species
any school day between April 1 and 26, 2014
any of grades 9-12

Pyramid State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Pinckneyville
enhance butterfly gardens and add a new butterfly garden
April 23, 2014
any of grades 3-8

Starved Rock State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Utica
plant native wildflowers and grasses
May 1, 2014
any of grades 3-12

Walnut Point State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Oakland
plant native shrubs
April 9, 2014
grade 6

Weldon Springs State Park

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Clinton
transplant white oak seedlings to replace trees that have died
April 8, 2014
any of grades 6-12

William Powers State Recreation Area

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Chicago
install a garden to attract birds
April 29, 2014
grades 7 or 8

 

 

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