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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 11, 2012 
CONTACTS:
Chris McCloud 
217-785-0075 
 
 
Earth Day in the Parks Promotes Natural Resources Stewardship for Students 
Sixth annual event will be held across the state on several dates in April and May 
SPRINGFIELD, IL – More than 875 students will visit Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) state parks in April and May for the sixth 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, developing amphibian breeding pools, building and installing fish attractors and a number of other activities,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

Sponsored by the IDNR Office of Strategic Services and Office of Land Management, 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 the 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.”  

School groups were selected by random drawings from an application process conducted earlier this year. Grants from the Illinois Conservation Foundation and the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund help to support the events.
 
The list of Earth Day in the Parks sites, dates and participating schools is available at this link on the IDNR website:
http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/EarthDayinParkssites2012.pdf