The Illinois Rain Garden Initiative grant program provides funds for the construction of a rain garden on public property. A rain garden is a depression that is planted with native wetland or aquatic vegetation. It is designed for and built in a location that will hold stormwater runoff or snow melt, allowing the water to be absorbed slowly by the plants and the soil. Rain gardens are desirable because they reduce stormwater runoff, improve water quality, allow for the recharge of groundwater supplies, increase wildlife habitat and often reduce the need for mowing and its associated costs and pollution. You’ll find the application forms at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/RainGarden/applicationpage.htm. Teachers, not-for-profit organizations and community groups may apply. The maximum award is $1,000. For more information, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-785-0973). The IDNR and Illinois Conservation Foundation administer this program. Funds are provided through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
March 4, 2010, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885
State Route 37 South,
Movie Night: Is That Skunk? BBC
production. Explore the secret lives of often misunderstood wildlife of
March 6, 2010, 10:00 a.m.
of the Cache: Geology
can reveal secret wonders about the natural history of a place. The
Saturday, March 20, 2010, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress
All About Hummers!: These jewels of the sky have specific needs when it comes to food sources and nesting habitat. Learn about the natural history of hummingbirds and how to enhance your chances of having these fascinating birds as neighbors.
Involve Your Students in Learning about the Ecology and Management of
Forest Ecology is now ready for download at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids in the “Activity Books” section. This 48-page publication from the IDNR Division of Education is targeted to students of grades four through eight and contains many activities about the complex ecological relationships in our forests and how they are managed. The booklet is a revision of an activity book produced by the Illinois Department of Conservation in the 1980s. Preview and download your copy today!
Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest Application Deadline is March 15, 2010!
2010 entry form and guidelines for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest
are available at http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck/ArtContest.htm.
Students of grades kindergarten through 12 can learn about waterfowl and
wetland conservation in this program as they design artwork depicting North
American waterfowl species. The
ENTICE Workshop Registration
Register soon for ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) educator workshops from the IDNR. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com and enroll now! You won't want to miss the background information, supplemental resources, networking with other educators and opportunity to work with natural resources professionals. Continuing Professional Development Units are available to all ENTICE participants.
March 8-21, Online Illinois Frogs and Toads, online
27, The Effects of Climate
10, Prying into Prions:
Investigating Chronic Wasting Disease, Fermi National Accelerator
27, The Massasauga:
1, 2010, Pioneers and the
Prairie, Boone County Conservation District,
15, The Ohio River: History,
Teachers, Get Free OutdoorIllinois Magazines While Supplies Last!
copies of 2009 OutdoorIllinois
magazine issues are available to
If you enjoy the outdoors of Illinois, are interested in learning more about the Prairie State's great natural and cultural resources, the location of some of Illinois' most scenic state parks and recreational areas, or if you are looking for compelling stories, news and photographs of our cultural and natural resources treasures you will enjoy OutdoorIllinois. If your school library does not receive the magazine, educational institutions may receive a one-year (12 issues) subscription for $10 (regularly $15). For the discounted rate, submit the subscription information on school letterhead, along with a check made payable to OutdoorIllinois and mail it to Illinois Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 19225, Dept. NL, Springfield, IL 62794-9225.
IDNR Programs Calendar included on Youth Programs Web Page
Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/youthprograms/ to see the latest schedule of events for youth- and family-related programs from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. You’ll find many options to select from. Youth leaders and educators will be interested in the information as well. Sign up for the email list and receive weekly updates. Let’s all work together to get our youth involved in outdoor activities!
IDNR Division of Education Joins Facebook
Join us on Facebook for more information and resources. We have discussion topics for you to participate in as well. Go to http://www.facebook.com and search for "Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education."
supplemental unit for high school students explores prion diseases, including
chronic wasting disease. In six lessons, students learn about transmissible
spongiform encephalopathies by examining the role of proteins in organisms, the
chemistry and properties of proteins, the genetic processes that create
proteins, and how proteins can become pathogenic. Students also study how
chronic wasting disease is affecting
Fishing in Your School
Do you teach in any of the following counties?
Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Hancock, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Vermilion
If so, let the IDNR help you establish a fishing program. We can assist with education and equipment to make fishing a talked-about, popular activity at your school.
Several school fishing programs are available. One is a physical education-based fishing program for middle school and high school students. Students are taught the basics of fishing at school (45-60 minutes) and then are taken fishing during their physical education classes during the last two to three weeks of the school year. Other fishing programs are mainly for younger students and include school-time field fishing trips and after-school fishing trips. For both of these programs, it is beneficial to invite parents/grandparents to accompany students to help them with fishing.
For more details or to register your students contact Herb Dreier, Coordinator, Central Illinois Urban Fishing Program, at 217-935-6860 extension 238, cell 217-622-4266 or email@example.com.
The IDNR offers an online course for those interested in learning to trap. People who are required to complete a course before purchasing a trapping license now have two choices. They can take a full-day course in the classroom or complete half of the requirement online and half in the classroom, where they learn hands-on skills such as setting traps and preparing pelts for sale.
Courses are free. The IDNR encourages all trappers, regardless of age, to take a course. First-time trappers under 18 years of age must complete a course and pass a written exam before they are allowed to purchase a trapping license. Those under 16 years of age must also have written permission from a parent or guardian before purchasing a license.
Illinois Trapper Education Online (www.trappered.com) covers topics such as trapping equipment, laws and ethics through online film clips, reading materials, quizzes, photos and illustrations. Students can exit the course and resume work where they left off at any time. The course is accessible using a basic dial-up connection, although high speed connections work best.
At the end of the Internet course, students must successfully complete the final exam online and download a printable document of completion. Students must present the document when attending the four-hour training session with instructors. To locate an instructor-taught course, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/safety or call 1-800-832-2599. The Ameritech Relay for the deaf and hearing impaired is 1-800-526-0844.
IDNR is offering a "virtual" trip for late-elementary schoolteachers,
students and their parents. With a few mouse clicks, students can journey back
to the earliest days of the
Urban Fishing Program
Coordinators for the IDNR statewide Urban Fishing Program will come to your school and conduct programs aimed at getting kids interested in fishing and the outdoors, while promoting environmental stewardship. One part of the program involves actually taking kids fishing during May and September, if a nearby lake is accessible. Teachers may continue the program on their own after the initial session, with the assistance of IDNR personnel. Contact the Urban Fishing Program Coordinator in your area. The urban fishing program is appropriate for any grade level.