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New this Month - October 2017

ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
Registration Closes Soon for Workshops in Makanda and Chicago
New Workshops Added in Moline and Rockford

Register soon for ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) professional development workshops for educators sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). ENTICE workshops provide background information, networking opportunities, hands-on lessons, supplemental resources on the topic and the opportunity to work with resources professionals on a variety of topics. 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 upcoming workshops for fall 2017, winter 2018 and spring 2018. New workshops for Moline and Rockford have been added to the schedule for spring. Visit the ENTICE Web site for the complete list of workshops. Experience ENTICE!

Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Fall, Giant City State Park, Makanda, November 4, 2017
Aquatic Ecosystems: Lake Michigan Ecology, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, November 4, 2017
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Winter, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, January 13, 2017
Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators, Giant City State Park, Makanda, March 16, 2018
Animal Adaptations and the Next Generation Science Standards, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, March 24, 2018
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Spring, Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, April 7, 2018
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Spring. Giant City State Park, Makanda, April 13, 2018
Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Development, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, April 14, 2018
Illinois Frogs and Toads, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, April 21, 2018
Illinois Frogs and Toads, Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress, April 23, 2018
Monarch Mania!, Giant City State Park, Makanda, May 12, 2018
Using Children’s Nonfiction in PreK-Second Grade Science, WIU Quad Cities Campus, Moline, May 19, 2018
Organisms of Flowing Water, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Rockford, June 9, 2018
Survival in Numbers, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, June 16, 2018
Wild about Illinois Spiders!
Joining the “Wild about. . .” series from the IDNR Division of Education is Wild about Illinois Spiders! Visit this Web page to learn about these amazing creatures and see photos of numerous species. We’ll be adding more species regularly, so visit often.
Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant – Submit Your Application Soon
Applications will be accepted by the IDNR Division of Education through November 30, 2017, for the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program. New for the program this year are two application options. Option One will allow you to apply for a standard pollinator garden. With this option, the plant species are predetermined. You and the students must decide how best to use these species in your available space. Other items to be purchased are limited with this option. Option Two allows the applicant to determine what type of wildlife habitat to develop. You can view both options at this Web page. Please use the supporting video podcasts to assist you in completing the application form. The optional preliminary review deadline is October 31. See the instructions for details. Help wildlife species while taking learning to life! This program is funded by generous contributions to the Illinois Conservation Foundation from the Jadel Youth Fund and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation.
October Kids for Conservation®: Raccoon
The October edition of the IDNR Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic of the “Raccoon.” You can learn basic facts about this species in the information section. Watch the video podcast, too. Take the quiz to test your knowledge. Educators, there are resources for you to utilize. We have developed a version of the information section specific to early childhood educators. “Kids in Action” features the students of Carbondale New School in Carbondale who worked to overhaul a garden area on the school grounds to make it more easily accessible to younger students while increasing available habitat for butterflies and other pollinators. The November topic is the “Eastern Cottontail.”
Applications Being Accepted for 2018 Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants
Visit the grants Web site to find the instructions and application form for the 2018 Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program from the IDNR and the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Teachers and home-schooling educators of grades prekindergarten through 12 in Illinois may apply. Take learning to life with an Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant. The application deadline is January 31, 2018. All funds for this program are donated. The support of the Independence Tube Corporation in Bedford Park, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation in Skokie and the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation in Wilmington is greatly appreciated.
Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROM Series Conversion to Web-based Format – More than 700 Files Available
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 the Web site to access the approximately 700 files that have been posted to date.
Discover Archery with the Friends of Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry, Illinois
Sunday, October 22, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Register for a one-hour time slot.
Ages 10 - 90
Fee: $18.00 per person payable upon arrival to “Friends of Moraine Hills State Park”
Try your hand at the "newly discovered" ancient art of archery! Women and girls especially are encouraged to attend. Certified instructor Andy Ferraro and volunteers with the IDNR and Friends of Moraine Hills State Park will share safety instruction, techniques and tips. Register for a 60-minute time slot (limit five persons per slot) by phone 815-344-1294 or email When registering, give first, second and third choice of time slot, name of each person and ages of kids (minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian). Time slots are 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Registrants will be emailed a confirmation with directions and further instructions to print and bring along to the event. If confirmation is not received within 72 hours of emailing, or no later than 12:00 p.m. Thursday, October 19, 2017, please call 815-344-1294. Moraine Hills State Park is located at 1510 South River Road in McHenry Illinois.
Upcoming Programs at Dickson Mounds Museum
The following programs are being held at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown in October. For more information, call 309-547-3721.
Tot Time
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. Participants will enjoy light refreshments. 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 City of Lewistown, Havana National Bank, G-M Mechanical of Canton and Doug Dennis of Manito. Upcoming programs include the following topics: October 5, Creepy Crawly Creatures, presented by the Peoria Park District Zoo; November 2, Gobble Gobble; December 7, Hugo's Coming to Tot Time, presented by Mike Anderson.
Hickory Ridge Concert Series
For more than 20 years, people have gathered at Dickson Mounds 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. Concerts begin at 7:00 p.m., and there is an $8 fee for adults and $5 fee for youngsters.
Spoon River Scenic Drive Weekend at the Museum
Saturday and Sunday, October 7-8, 2017
Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily
Join us for a variety of activities during the Spoon River Scenic Drive. Learn what life was like on the Illinois frontier at the Rendezvous Encampment. View flint-knapping demonstrations and learn about the different techniques these craftsmen use to create stone tools. Enjoy live music by the Bug Trotters. Admission is free to the Museum as well as all weekend event activities. Donations are appreciated. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather as many of these activities will be held outdoors. All ages are welcome.
Kids’ Day - Bats
Sunday, October 22, 2017
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Bats are an integral part of the ecosystem. Learn about these often misunderstood and feared creatures through a presentation and viewing of live bats by Sharon and Dan Peterson of Incredible Bats. For additional fun, a special appearance will be made by ‘Baxter’ the skunk. Participants may enjoy hands-on craft activities before or after the program. Kids’ Day programs are geared towards children ages 5 and up with an adult. The show begins at 1:00 p.m. in the Museum’s auditorium. Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis beginning at 12:00 p.m. in the Museum’s lobby. Space is limited. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. 
Ages: children 5 years old + with an adult
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 2016 or 2017 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 We will post the information on the IDNR Monarch Mania! Web site. 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. We will continue to accept information through 2017 and beyond. 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!
New Video Podcast
The Raccoon video podcast is now available! This video podcast is also available on YouTube.
Learning Standards Interactive Web Page
Looking for IDNR lessons to help you meet the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, Illinois Social Science Standards or Illinois Early Learning Standards? Now you can easily find them with the new interactive Learning Standards Web page from the IDNR Division of Education. You can search by grade level, topic, learning standard and/or subject area. Try it today!
IDNR Division of Education List Server
Educators throughout Illinois can obtain instant notification about new products, scheduled workshops and many other events and items from the IDNR through the IDNR Division of Education's electronic list server. By participating in the list server, you will receive email messages when new educational materials are available from the IDNR. You'll also be made aware of upcoming workshops and special opportunities. To join the list, send an email to You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. You may leave the list at any time by sending an email to You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. There is no charge to participate. Messages are usually titled "Items of Possible Interest" in the subject line.
We’re on Facebook!
Visit our Facebook page to find the latest updates about the materials and programs of the IDNR Education Section. Watch for our What Do You Know about . . .? series. Search for “Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education.”
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
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