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New this Month - January 2019

 
 
Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Application Deadline is January 31!
The Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant is a competitive grant program sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education. Funding is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF). This grant can help you take learning to life by supporting field trips dedicated to studying Illinois’ natural resources. Bus transportation and substitute teacher fees are the primary expenses covered. For details and to access the application form, visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/GrantsIBFTG.aspx. You will find many supplemental tools on this Web site to help you complete the application form. This grant is funded entirely by private donations to the ICF. We thank the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation and Independence Tube Corporation for their continued support. The application deadline is January 31, 2019.
 
Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #5
The IDNR Division of Education is once again making Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #5 available. These cards have an image on one side and information about the subject on the other side. There are 63 cards in the set, covering a variety of animals, plants and fungi that live in and/or travel through Illinois. One set of these cards per teacher may be requested. Please send your request on school letterhead to the IDNR Division of Education, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, and indicate that you are interested in Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #5. Quantities are limited so order soon.
  
Earth Day in the Parks Applications Accepted Starting January 1
Earth Day in the Parks is a program of the IDNR Division of Education and the IDNR Office of Land Management. Through Earth Day in the Parks, students and their teacher conduct natural resources stewardship activities, such as planting native wildflowers and grasses, building bird nesting boxes and removing invasive, exotic plants, at participating Illinois state parks. Participants are selected through an application process. The application form is available at   https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/EDITPinstruct.aspx. Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2019, through February 28, 2019.
 
New Asian Carps Lessons for Middle School and High School Students
The IDNR Division of Education has developed two new lessons on the topic of Asian carps. What’s the Answer? helps support the teaching of Next Generation Science Standard HS‐LS2‐7. Tracking the Effects of Asian Carps on Native Fish Populations can help teachers to meet the criteria of Next Generation Science Standard MS‐LS2‐4. You can access both lessons and supporting resources at the following Web address. https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/AsianCarpActivities.aspx
 
ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
Register soon for ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) professional development workshops for educators sponsored by the IDNR. ENTICE workshops provide background information, networking opportunities, hands-on lessons, supplemental resources on the topic and the opportunity to work with resources professionals. Professional Development Hours are available. Correlations to relevant Next Generation Science Standards and/or Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards are provided. Shown below are workshops for winter, spring and summer 2019. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE!
 
Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators
Starved Rock State Park, Utica
March 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
This workshop for educators of grades prekindergarten through two will provide you with the information and resources that you need to successfully teach about and observe wildlife. We’ll focus on the life history of common wildlife species, and we’ll go on a hike to look for wildlife species and their signs. You’ll receive training in using basic equipment. We’ll also discuss developing wildlife habitat on your school grounds. We’ll show you how to support the teaching of several of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for science and Next Generation Science Standards with your students. You’ll take away numerous resources to use with young children when learning about nature. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Creating and Keeping Collections
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
March 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
For more than 160 years the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has been assembling and maintaining a variety of natural history specimens and collections. Learn about the Museum’s collections and why collections are important for both scientific and educational purposes. We’ll discuss how to build and maintain a collection, guidelines for collecting natural materials and how to use living and preserved collections in the classroom. Participate in numerous hands-on activities and take home many supplemental resources. Educators will be pinning dead invertebrates as part of this workshop. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Spring
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
April 6, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Spring is a wonderful season for young children to explore nature! There is so much to see and learn. Join us to discover what nature can tell us in spring. We’ll take a hike to put our knowledge to work and will feature the Field Trip Pack from the IDNR. We’ll show you how to support the teaching of several of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for science and Next Generation Science Standards with your students. Although targeted to grades prekindergarten through two, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You’ll take away numerous resources to use with young children when learning about nature. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Teaching Young Learners about Birds
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
April 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
We see birds nearly every day. They are accessible to learn from and can be enticed to come to your school yard. They can instigate curiosity in young learners. How do you teach young learners to observe and learn about birds? At this workshop, we’ll provide you with activities, resources and hands-on experiences to help you teach about the birds around your school. Although targeted to educators of grades prekindergarten through four, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.  REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THIS WORKSHOP, SEND A MESSAGE TO DNR.TEACHKIDS@ILLINOIS.GOV STATING THAT YOU WANT TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST FOR THE APRIL 27 WORKSHOP AT THE MORTON ARBORETUM.
 
Illinois Pollinators
Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville
April 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Explore the hidden world of pollinators and their unique relationship with the plants they pollinate. We’ll take a hike to look at native plants and their pollinators in action. You’ll experience hands-on activities that can be instantly implemented into your curriculum, too. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten through four, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Meet the Mississippi
Mississippi River Visitors’ Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Arsenal
May 4, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Come to this workshop to learn about the Mississippi River and some of the wildlife species that depend on it. We will talk about the traits needed to survive in a riverine environment and show you examples from native wildlife. We’ll discuss wildlife diversity in and around the river, too. Physical characteristics of the river and how they are important to wildlife and people will be explained. Although targeted to teachers of grades two through five, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Summer
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
June 8, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Summer is a great season for young children to explore nature! There is so much to see and learn. Join us to discover what nature can tell us in summer. We’ll take a hike to put our knowledge to work and will feature the Field Trip Pack from the IDNR. Although targeted to grades prekindergarten through three, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You’ll take away numerous resources to use with young children when learning about summer nature. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Wetland Wonders Exploring the Organisms of Illinois’ Wetland Ecosystems
Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress
June 18, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
We’ll make a splash as we explore the fascinating organisms that live in Illinois’ wetlands. We’ll learn about their life history and identification and will put the skills to practice as we visit a wetland. Hands-on activities will be conducted, and you’ll receive supplemental educational resources. Although targeted to teachers of grades four through eight, other educators are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Asian Carps: Activities for Middle School and High School Students to Support the Teaching of Next Generation Science Standards     
Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown
July 19, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Asian carps are nonnative fishes that have invaded the waterways of Illinois and many other states. These species are responsible for enormous economic, recreational and environmental impacts. At this workshop, we’ll discuss their life history and provide data to quantify their effects. Containment methods being used in Illinois to keep Asian carps out of Lake Michigan will be examined. Student lessons relevant to Next Generation Science Standards MS-LS2-4 and HS-LS2-7 will be incorporated. Although targeted to middle school and high school educators, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to attend but may need to adapt the information as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Tree Pests      
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
July 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Learn how insect pests have unique adaptations that can cause threats to our woodland ecosystem. We will show you how to conduct a tree inventory and risk analysis for future pest threats of trees in a given location. Identification and life history information for beneficial and invasive insects will be provided. Although targeted to teachers of grades six through eight, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to attend but may need to adapt the information as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Illinois Pollinators      
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
July 30, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Discover the hidden world of pollinators and their unique relationship with the plants they pollinate. Investigate native plants and their pollinators in action through the Garden’s pollinator-focused planting exhibition. You’ll experience hands-on activities that explore how pollination works and how plant attract pollinators. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten through four, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Illinois Bats      
Barkhausen Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress
August 2, 2019, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The only true flying mammals will be examined at this workshop for educators of grades one through four. Work with resource professionals as you learn about the life history of bats and their relationships to other species in the environment. Experience hands-on activities that can be instantly implemented into your curriculum. We’ll take a short drive to watch bats emerge from their roosts at dusk, too. Take home many Illinois-specific supplemental materials. Professional Development Hours are available. Educators of other grade levels are welcome to attend the workshop, but they will need to adapt the materials to the grade levels taught, as appropriate.
 
Aquatic Ecosystems: Lake Michigan Ecology II
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
September 14, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lake Michigan is one of Illinois’ greatest natural resources. Come to this workshop and learn about the complex relationships between the lake and its inhabitants. Part of the workshop will be held indoors at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, but we will also take a hike to conduct activities on the Lake Michigan shore, weather-permitting. Supplemental educational resources will be provided. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten through four, other educators are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Illinois Spiders      
Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress
September 17, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The wonderful world of spiders will be explored in this workshop for educators of grades four through six. Jim Louderman of The Field Museum will lead us as we learn about the spiders found in Illinois, their habits and habitats. Go on a hike to find spiders in the wild. Take part in hands-on activities that can be instantly implemented into your classes. Numerous supplemental materials will be provided. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop but may need to adapt the information as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Oaks and the Animals that Need Them      
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
September 21, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Learn about the interdependence between oak trees and the native Illinois species that rely on them. Discover dynamic interactions that play a vital role in an ecosystem’s overall health. Learn outdoor activities that focus on producers, consumers and decomposers and how species are adapted to survive in oak woodlands. Although targeted to teachers of grades three through five, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You’ll take away numerous resources to use. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Scouting Resources
Scout leaders, the IDNR Division of Education has resources that you can use to help teach about Illinois' animals, plants and other topics. Videos, publications, resources trunks/packs for loan, activities and other information can be found through the links on the new "Scouting Resources" Web page at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/Scouts.aspx. Visit it today!
 
January Kids for Conservation®: Bird Beaks
The January edition of the IDNR Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic of “Bird Beaks.” You can learn basic facts about this topic in the information section. Watch the video podcast, too. Take the quiz to test your knowledge. Educators, there are resources for you to utilize. “Kids in Action” features students who are taking action to benefit the environment. The January topic will be available at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx after January 2, 2019. The February topic will be the “Wood Duck.”
 
Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROM Series Conversion to Web-based Format
The IDNR Division of Education is in the process of converting the information and images from the Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROM series (Volume I, Aquatic Habitats; Volume II, Woodland Habitats; Volume III, Prairie and Edge Habitats) into a searchable, Web-based format. Files are being added as they are completed, so check back often. There will be about 1,500 species in this field guide when it is finished. Visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/Biodiversity-of-Illinois.aspx to access the approximately 800 files that have been posted to date.
 
Upcoming Programs at Dickson Mounds Museum
The following programs are being sponsored by Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. Unless otherwise noted, the programs occur at Dickson Mounds Museum, too. For more information, call 309-547-3721.
 
Tot Time: Paint the Walls
Thursday, January 3, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month in the Museum’s Discovery Center. Spend quality time with your tot, while each of you makes new friends. A different topic and craft will be featured each month. Registration is not required, and admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. The program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. with the program portion lasting approximately 30 minutes followed by crafts, snacks and time to explore the museum. This program series is sponsored by the Havana National Bank and Spoon River Electric Cooperative.
 
Kids’ Day: Collectors’ Day
Saturday, January 12, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Kids ages 8-16 can show their personal collections at Dickson Mounds Museum. Collections may include rocks, minerals, arrowheads, fossils, coins, stamps and much more! Collectors need to register by Tuesday, January 8, 2019. For more information or to register contact Christa Christensen at 309-547-3721 or christa.christensen@illinois.gov. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
 
Nature Trek:  A Glacial Perspective
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Did you know glaciers contributed to the formation of the Illinois River valley? Learn about how the last Ice Age shaped the present-day landscape as you hike. Participants will meet at The Nature Conservancy’s office, 11304 North Prairie Road, Lewistown. Participants must dress appropriately for the outdoors, provide their own drinks and snacks and be able to hike comfortably with an elevation gain and across uneven terrain. A brief tour of The Nature Conservancy’s new LEED-certified office building will be included in the morning’s activities. Light refreshments will be served. This program is sponsored by the Emiquon Partnership. All ages are welcome for this program. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
 
Fulton-Mason Eagle Day
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Join us for the annual Fulton-Mason Eagle Day event. Activities include live raptor programs, hands-on activities and crafts for kids and bird watching in various locations in Lewistown and Havana, Illinois. The event is free and for all ages. World Bird Sanctuary's Raptor Awareness programs will be held at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the Dickson Mounds Museum’s auditorium. Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at Dickson Mounds Museum, on the day of the event. Tickets cannot be reserved in advance. Seating is limited. Admission is free. More event details, a schedule and program locations will be announced at a later date. Visit experienceemiquon.com for more information. This event is sponsored by the City of Lewistown, City of Havana, Forbes Biological Station, Havana Oktoberfest Committee, Illinois River Biological Station, Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway, Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds Museum, Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois River Refuges Complex, Lewistown Chamber of Commerce, Spoon River Electric Cooperative and Plum Hill Vacation Rental Properties. Activities and displays are contributed by the Astoria High School's Environmental Club, Havana Park District, Emiquon Audubon, Mason County Arts Council, the University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Carterville FWCP Wilmington Substation.
 
Hickory Ridge Concert Series
Saturday, January 19, 2019, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Fee: $10 adults, $5 children
For more than 20 years, people have gathered at Dickson Mounds Museum on the third Saturday of every month for an evening of musical entertainment. Hosted by Chris Vallillo, an accomplished musician and performer in his own right, the series features roots/folk music and other genres offered by a talented variety of performers. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. January’s performer will be announced later. Visit http://ginridge.com/extras/hickory-ridge-concert-series/ for information about the artists.
 
Borrow a Trunk or Pack for Your Teaching and Youth Programming
Resources trunks/packs from the IDNR’s Division of Education are Illinois-specific units on topics including trees, aquatics, mammals, birds, prairies, insects/spiders, state symbols, invasive species, fossils, Native Americans, amphibians/reptiles and nature exploration. Available for loan statewide, they are filled with items for hands-on learning. Teachers, homeschooling educators, scout and youth group leaders, nature center personnel, librarians, day care center staff and families are among the people who can successfully use these resources. A two-week loan period is suggested. There is no charge to borrow the trunks/packs, although a refundable deposit may be requested. Lessons are correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, as appropriate. Suggested grade levels are provided but modifications can be made for use at other grade levels. Visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/ItemsForLoan.aspx to access the list of lending locations and more trunk-related information.
 
IDNR Publications for Order and/or Download
Many publications are available from the IDNR. They cover a variety of topics for educators and the public. All publications may be accessed through the order form at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications. Posters, activity books, brochures and other items can help you learn and teach about the topics. Numerous items in Spanish-language versions may be ordered, too.
 
Reporting Monarch Educational Activities
The IDNR and its partners in the monarch initiative are collecting information about educational activities related to monarch butterflies. If you conducted any activities in 2018 related to educating people in Illinois about monarch butterflies or to enhancing or developing monarch habitat in Illinois, please send us a brief description (no more than three sentences) describing each activity. Include the date, a description of the activity, the targeted audience (if an educational activity), the organization or person leading the activity and an email address for someone who can answer questions about the activity. Submit the information to dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov. We will post the information on the IDNR Web site at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/monarchgen.aspx. This Web site is not intended to promote upcoming activities. We want to share information about efforts that have already taken place to help monarchs and their habitat. Please do not send photos. Thank you!
 
Visit Our Web Page for a Wealth of Resources
The IDNR Division of Education’s Web page offers a great variety of educational resources and information for teachers, home-schooling educators, nonformal educators, scout leaders, youth-group leaders and other people interested in learning about Illinois’ tremendous natural heritage. The “A to Z” button will allow you to access a list of topics. You’ll find basic information, lessons, activity books, grants, educator professional development, correlations to learning standards, video podcasts (with open captioning), trunks and packs for loan and many other items. Let these supplemental resources support your teaching or just learn something new! Updates are made regularly so visit often! https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Education
 
New Video Podcast
The Bird Beaks video podcast can be found on the Podcasts page at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/podcasts.aspx. This video podcast is also available on YouTube.
 
IDNR Coastal Management Program Accepting Grant Applications 
The IDNR Coastal Management Program is accepting pre-applications for projects of $1,000 to $100,000 to protect, preserve and restore Illinois' Lake Michigan natural and cultural resources. Funding will be available for projects that: 1) improve the health of the coast and Lake Michigan; 2) enhance coastal public access, recreation and coastal-dependent economic development; 3) advance coastal community resilience; or 4) create beach management plans. Eligible applicants include local governments, universities and nonprofits. These are federal pass-through grants, and matching funds are required. Successful pre-applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Grant guidelines, application materials, maps and other resources are available at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/cmp/Pages/grants.aspx. The pre-application submission deadline is Friday, January 18, 2019. If you have questions, sign up for a grant consultation. Please contact Lisa Cotner at lisa.cotner@illinois.gov for more information.
 
Central Illinois Educators: Fishing and Aquatic Ecology Programs Now Available from the IDNR
Educators, if you teach in any of the following counties, the IDNR can help you bring hands-on aquatic education to your students. These programs work to develop positive attitudes towards natural resources, conservation and fishing in young people. Lessons align with the state and national learning standards and are adapted to all grade levels. For more information or to schedule a program, contact Van Grissom at
217-720-3501 or van.grissom@illinois.gov.
 
Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Hancock, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Vermillion
 
Wild Illinois History Leads Students on a Journey to Learn About History and Wildlife Conservation
The 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 Illinois Territory when voyageurs and Native Americans hunted the prairies, forests and rivers. Wild Illinois History helps students in grades three through five focus on early French exploration, along with river and settlement geography. Students can learn how wildlife helped Native Americans and early settlers survive. They also can see how wildlife is a part of our lives today. A fictional French trapper in the 18th century Illinois Territory leads students on the trip. Brief story-telling slideshows are mixed with fun, interactive activities. For teachers, Wild Illinois History offers lesson plans, activities, photos, posters and correlations to Illinois Learning Standards. Try it out at http://wildillinois.org/.