Invasive Species Awareness: Governor Pat Quinn has issued a proclamation declaring May to be ‘Invasive Species Awareness Month’ in Illinois – asking all Illinoisans to learn about ways in which they can help combat the spread of animal and plant species that endanger the Illinois landscape. Examples of invasive species of concern in Illinois include autumn olive, garlic mustard and kudzu, as well as emerald ash borer, Asian carp, zebra mussels and feral hogs. Learn more by checking the website at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/orc/invasive_species.htm
Cache River Nature Fest: Make plans to attend the annual Cache River Nature Fest on Sat., May 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress, IL. The Cache River Nature Fest 2012 will feature a variety of events and activities featuring snakes, turtles, eagles, owls and hawks, hummingbird and finch banding, nature games and activities, interactive exhibits, wing board and identification by Ducks Unlimited, a life-size eagle nest and wing span chart, basket weaving made from native and invasive plants, and fried Asian carp taste testing. For more information, phone 618-657-2064 or go online to www.cacherivernaturefest.org.
National Trails Award to Illinois: The IDNR congratulates the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council for being selected by the National Association of State Park Directors as the winner of the Coalition for Recreational Trails’ Achievement Award for outstanding use of federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The award will be presented at a reception in Washington D.C. on June 5. The Illinois Greenways and Trails Council is Illinois’ official RTP State Trails Advisory Board. Council members include all major statewide trail user organizations, including biking, equestrian, hiking, OHV, snowmobiling, mountain biking, and paddling. Statewide associations representing local agencies that acquire, develop, and manage trails also serve on the Council. The Council helped develop Illinois’ RTP priorities, grant project eligibility criteria, and grant project evaluation criteria. The efforts of this statewide coordinating council and grass-roots planning have fostered a problem-solving, results-oriented approach to trails in Illinois. For more information: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/Pages/GreenwaysandTrailsCouncil.aspx
Bike to Work: May is Bike to Work Month and May 18 is National Bike to Work Day. Go riding and enjoy the health and environmental benefits of biking to work.
Safety Reminder: Mushroom collectors and other visitors to Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, and other IDNR-managed sites with spring turkey hunting programs are reminded that hunting areas are closed to activities other than turkey hunting from one-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season. The turkey hunting area restrictions are in place for the safety of site visitors and hunters. Spring turkey seasons conclude on May 10 in the South Zone and May 17 in the North Zone.
Camping Reservations: Make your Illinois campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at www.reserveamerica.com using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/camping/camprsvp.htm
Powerton Maintenance Closure: The Powerton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell County will be closed on May 14, 15 and 16 for levee maintenance and repairs. No public access will be allowed during this time. Powerton Lake will reopen on May 17 at 6 a.m.
INPC Meeting: The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will meet on Tuesday, May 8 at 9 a.m. at the Jarrett Prairie Center, 7993 North River Road, Byron, IL. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-8686.
ESPB Meeting: The Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board will meet on Fri., May 11 at 10 a.m. at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, 30239 South State Route 53, in Wilmington, IL. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-8687.
Wolf Creek Stables: The IDNR is seeking an individual to invest in and operate the horse riding stable concession located in Wolf Creek State Park, Windsor, IL. Interested parties should contact Lisa Wright, IDNR Concession and Lease Management, at 217-785-0759 or [email protected].
Science Series: The Illinois State Museum Science Series program for May is “Multicultural Society in Ste. Genevieve and the Middle Mississippi Valley, 1780-1880” on Wed., May 9 at 7 p.m. Dr. Elizabeth M. Scott of Illinois State University will present the program. Using archaeological, historical, and architectural data from research carried out by ISU, the presentation will provide a glimpse into the multicultural world of the middle Mississippi Valley between 1780 and 1880. The free program will be held at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 East Ash Street, Springfield. For more information: www.museum.state.il.us/events
Super Saturdays: The Illinois State Museum presents “Hummingbirds: Tiny Travelers” – the next ‘Super Saturdays’ event for children at the ISM in Springfield on Sat., May 12 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Children are invited to this free event to learn about hummingbirds, make a hummingbird art project, and find out how to build a hummingbird feeder at home with recycled materials. For more information, call 217-782-6044 or go to the museum website at www.museum.state.il.us/events. The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 South Spring St., Springfield.
Wingshooting Clinics: The IDNR and participating partners sponsor wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois to help improve the shooting skills of participants. Youth/Women’s clinics are designed to teach participants basic firearm safety and the fundamentals of wingshooting. Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and provide sound wingshooting practice techniques. The clinics are conducted on weekends throughout the spring, summer and early fall. For a complete schedule, check the webpage at this link: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/wingshooting/WingshootingDates.htm
Sportsman’s Raffle: Tickets are available for the 2012 Illinois Conservation Foundation Sportsman’s Raffle. Tickets are $100 each and prizes – including a grand prize of up to $100,000 – will be presented at a drawing in Sangamon County on December 6, 2012. Additional “early bird” prizes will be awarded for tickets drawn in Sangamon County on June 7, August 2 and October 4, 2012. Proceeds from the raffle will support youth conservation education and outdoor recreation programs at the ICF Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, IL. The raffle is being conducted in accordance with the Raffles Act. All business operations of the raffle take place exclusively in Sangamon County. Raffle tickets are available online at www.ilcf.org and by mail at: Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
Volunteers: Interested in volunteering at an IDNR site or on an IDNR project? Sign up to be part of the IDNR Volunteer Network. See the IDNR website for more details at: http://www.dnr.state.il.us/volunteer/index.htm
Follow the IDNR: Keep up to date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter. Just click on the Facebook and Twitter icons on the IDNR home page at www.dnr.illinois.gov.