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April 27, 2009

Earth Day in the Parks Promotes Natural Resources Stewardship for Students
Third annual event will be held across the state on several dates in April

SPRINGFIELD – More than 1,500 students will visit Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) state parks in April for the third annual Earth Day in the Parks event.  Earth Day in the Parks is an initiative of the IDNR 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 trees, planting native wildflowers, removing exotic invasive plant species, building and installing bird boxes and a number of other activities,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

Sponsored by the IDNR Office of Public Services, Office of Land Management and the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF), 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.

“We believe that participating schools realize that this is more than just a field trip. This is an investment in the future generation of conservationists,” said Director Miller. “We hope that these students will continue to visit the parks, not only to check on the success of their projects, but perhaps to volunteer and develop a personal connection to a natural place.”  

Earth Day in the Parks continues to grow each year. In fact, the number of participating parks has doubled from last year. 50 state parks are hosting events this year, which means twice the number of schools will be able to participate. School groups were selected by random drawings from an application process held earlier this year.

A grant for the program was provided by the Illinois Conservation Foundation. The list of Earth Day in the Parks sites, dates and participating schools are shown below.

Earth Day in the Parks sites:   Date    Participating School

Apple River Canyon State Park  April 29th       Warren Community Unit
8763 E. Canyon Road                 School District #205, Warren
Apple River, IL  61001     Time: 12:15pm – 2pm 
Phone: (815)745-3302  

Argyle Lake State Park   April 30th Brown County High School,
640 Argyle Park Road      Mt. Sterling 
Colchester, IL  62326      Time: 9:30am- 11:30am 
Phone: (309)776-3422

Big River State Forest    April 30th Galesburg High School,
RR 1, Box 118      Galesburg
Keithsburg, IL  61442      Time: 9am - noon
Phone: (309)374-2496

Cache River State Natural Area  April 30th Century Elementary School,
930 Sunflower Lane      Ullin
Belknap, IL  62908      Time: 9:30am-11:30am
Phone: (618)634-9678

Eagle Creek State Recreation Area  April 30th Sullivan Middle School,
R.R. 1 Box 198-B      Sullivan
Findlay, IL  62534      Time: 9am – 1pm
Phone: (217)756-8260

Ferne Clyffe State Park   April 28th Odin High School, Odin
Rt.37, P.O. Box 10       Time: 10am- noon
Goreville, IL  62939
Phone: (618)995-2411

Franklin Creek State Natural Area  April 30th Kishwaukee Education
1872 Twist Road      Consortium, Malta
Franklin Grove, IL  61031      Time: 10am - noon
Phone: (815)456-2878

Gebhard Woods     April 30th Peru Washington M.S.,
401 Ottawa Street       Peru
P.O. Box 272        Time: 9:45am - noon
Morris, IL  60450
Phone: (815)942-0796

Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area  April 30th Tobin Elementary School,
5010 N. Jugtown Rd.       Burbank
Morris, IL  60450      Time: 10:15am – 12:15
Phone: (815)942-2899
Hamilton County Conservation Area April 29th Ina Grade School,
R.R. 4, Box 242      Ina
McLeansboro, IL  62859     Time: 9am – 11:30am
Phone: (618)773-4340

Hidden Springs State Forest  April 30th Cowden- Herrick H.S,
R.R. 1, Box 200      Cowden
Strasburg, IL  62465      Time: 9am-11am
Phone: (217)644-3091

Illinois Beach State Park    April 30th John T. Magee M.S.,
Lake Front       Round Lake
Zion, IL  60099      Time: 10am - noon
Phone: (847)662-4811

James “Pate” Phillip State Park   April 30th Lincoln M.S.,
2050 W. Stearns Road      Schiller Park
Bartlett, IL  30103      Time: 10am-12:30pm
Phone: (847)608-3100

Johnson Sauk Trail State Park  April 30th Bureau Valley H.S.,
28616 Sauk Trail Rd.      Manlius
Kewanee, IL  61443      Time: 10am–11:30am
Phone: (309)853-5589

Jubilee College State Park       April 30th       Brimfield E.S.,
13921 West Route 150                Brimfield
Brimfield, IL 61517      Time: 9:30am- 2pm

Kankakee River State Park   April 30th Kankakee Trinity
5314 West Rt. 102      Academy, Kankakee
Bourbonnais, IL  60914      Time: 10am- noon
Phone: (815)933-1383

Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area April 30th Lena-Winslow Elem.
8542 North Lake Road     School, Lena
Lena, IL  61048      Time: 10am - noon
Phone: (815)369-4282 
Lincoln Trail State Park     April 30th Marshall North Elem.
16985 E. 1350th Rd       School, Marshall
Marshall, IL  62441       Time: 10am - noon
Phone: (217)826-2222

Middle Fork State Fish and Wildlife Area  April 30th Holy Family School,
10906 Kickapoo Park Road      Danville 
Oakwood, IL  61858       Time: 9am- 2pm
Phone: (217)442-4915

Mississippi Palisades State Park   April 30th Scales Mound Comm.
16327A IL Rte. 84       Unit School District
Savanna, IL  61074        #211, Scales Mound
Phone: (815)273-2731      Time: 9am - noon

North Point Marina     April 30th Robert Abbott M.S.,
701 North Point Drive       Waukegan
Winthrop Harbor, IL  60096      Time: 9am - noon
Phone: (847)746-2845

Prophetstown State Park    April 29th Dixon High School,
Riverside Drive       Dixon 
Prophetstown, IL  61277       Time: 8:45am-10:45a
Phone: (815)537-2926    
Shelbyville Wildlife Management Area  April 28th Lovington E.S.,
R.R. # 1 Box 42-A       Lovington
Bethany, IL  61914       Time: 12:30pm-2:30 
Phone: (217)665-3112

Silver Springs State Park    April 30th Boulder Hill Elem.,
13608 Fox Road       Montgomery
Yorkville, IL  60560       Time: 9am- noon
Phone: (630)553-6297

Spitler Woods State Natural Area   April 30th Cerro Gordo M.S.,
705 Spitler Park Drive      Cerro Gordo
Mt. Zion, IL  62549       Time: 8:45am-11am 
Phone: (217)864-3121

Volo Bog State Natural Area   April 30th Special Education District of
28478 W. Brandenburg Road     McHenry Co., Woodstock
Ingleside, IL  60041       Time: 10am – 1pm
Phone: (815)344-1294

William Powers State Recreation Area April 30th The Willows Academy,
12949 Avenue O       Des Plaines
Chicago, IL  60633       Time: 10am - noon
Phone: (773)646-3270
Wolf Creek State Park   May 1st Mattoon Middle School,
R. R. 1, Box 99      Mattoon
Windsor, IL  61957      Time: 8:30am - noon
Phone: (217)459-2831

**Media interested in photo/video opportunities can call 217-558-1540 or 217-558-0994 to set up interviews or other requests**


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