Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Education and Other Resources

Division of Education
The Division of Education is responsible for the development and dissemination of educational programs and materials and for training in their use. Join the list server to receive information about contests, educational materials for classroom use, teacher workshops and more opportunities. Visit http://www.dnr.state.il.us/education/listservers.htm to enroll.  For details about the following programs, go to http://dnr.state.il.us/education.

  • ENTICE: The ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program offers teacher-training workshops about our natural resources with Continuing Professional Development Units available and Illinois-specific supplemental resources provided.
  • Natural Resources-Related Educational Materials: Items are produced using the Illinois Learning Standards and Illinois Early Learning Standards as their foundation. All items are distributed free of charge to teachers at ISBE-registered schools in Illinois. Spanish-language versions of many items are available. http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids
  • Earth Day in the Parks: Teachers and their students participate in natural resources stewardship activities at Illinois state parks and are encouraged to return to the park to observe and study the results of their efforts.
  • Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program: This competitive grant program allows teachers to apply for up to $500 to take students on a field trip to an Illinois location to study some aspect of Illinois’ natural or cultural biodiversity.
  • Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program: Teachers and other educators may apply for up to $600 to create or enhance wildlife habitat on the school grounds or public sites through this program.
  • Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest: “Conservation through the Arts” is the theme of this annual educational program and art contest that highlights wetland and waterfowl conservation and is open to all Illinois students of grades K-12.
  • Interactive Student Pages: The interactive Web pages provide information to students and the general public.
  • Online Graduate-Level Courses: In cooperation with the University of Illinois at the Urbana-Champaign and Springfield campuses, five online graduate-level courses are offered.
  • Items for Loan:  A series of resource trunks filled with supplemental teaching tools is available from lending locations statewide. CD-ROMs are also available from lending sites.
  • Illinois Biodiversity Studies through the iCollaboratory Project: Students collect data about spiders and squirrels, interact with scientists, analyze results and discuss results with other participating students.

Youth Fishing Programs
For information on a variety of youth fishing programs, including the new Illinois High School Association Bass fishing tournament, urban fishing clinics, tackle loaner program and family fishing hotspots and more, visit www.ifishillinois.org.  Also, find information on knot tying, kinds of fish, regulations, fishing safety, and other information at www.dnr.state.il.us/fish/

Illinois State Museums
In addition to exhibits on Illinois' natural and cultural resources, the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, and Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, offer educational workshops and guided group tours. Visit www.dnr.state.il.us/museums/index.htm.

Safety Education Programs
Hunter, Boating, Snowmobile and Trapping Safety courses are available for children and adults, and are mandatory for persons in certain age groups interested in participating in such activities. For information, links to the new on-line courses or a course schedule, visit www.dnr.state.il.us/safety.

State Park Programs
Interpretive programs are available at some state parks, and may include a seasonal hike, voyager canoe ride, fishing clinic, cross country-skiing experience and more.  A list of events is available at www.dnr.state.il.us/education/INTERPRT/Intro.htm.

Office of Mines and Minerals
Our Office of Mines and Minerals offers education on our states mineral resources.  The Rock Box is an educational display on the mineral resources in Illinois and their uses.   To see what educational materials the Office of Mines and Minerals has to offer, visit http://www.dnr.state.il.us/mines/education/. The office occasional coordinates school field trips to blast sites, educating kids on explosions safety and they get to experience a blast. 

Shooting Sports
Youth/Women's wingshooting clinics are designed to teach participants basic firearm and hunter safety, wingshooting fundamentals, as well as practical wingshooting techniques. A schedule of clinics can be found here.

The World Shooting Complex has a site here also with new events coming in 2011! Check it out here.

The National Archery in the Schools Program "On Target For Life" implements a curriculum-based archery education program into the school system through the physical education department. For information on how schools can get involved, visit www.dnr.state.il.us/archery.

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