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  3. Kids for Conservation

Kids' Events and Calendar

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. Visit it today!
IDNR Conservation World Service Project and Arboriculture Outreach Jamboree
Who: Scouts, 4-H groups, civic organizations, school groups and people who love trees are invited to participate in this event.
Project: IDNR Conservation World Famous and Historic Tree Arboretum Interpretive Sign Community Service Project and Tree Jamboree
Funding Source(s): This project is a part of a grant from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service to Trees Forever to assist the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Urban and Community Forestry Program in completing interpretive signage for the Famous and Historic Tree Arboretum in Conservation World on the state fairgrounds in Springfield. Your volunteer time, in part, helps to provide a match for the grant. Groups are encouraged to bring shapes/manual post hole diggers and to dress for outdoor work.
Scope of Work: This event will serve two purposes: 1) provide an educational outreach/scout badge or 4-H project requirements in the topics of urban forestry, arboriculture and horticulture for participants; and 2) provide an opportunity for groups and individuals to participate in community service by having volunteers help install the interpretive signs.
Location: Conservation World at IDNR Headquarters, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Time: Registration will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. The event occurs throughout the afternoon with educational opportunities as well as volunteer work.
Registration in advance is required and must be received by October 10, 2018. You may obtain an application form from Reinee Hildebrandt, IDNR Division of Forest Resources by emailing or calling 217-785-8771.
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: A Turtle’s Pace
Thursday, October 4, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 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. On October 4, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Van Grissom will present “A Turtle's Pace,” a program that focuses on aquatic conservation, habitat and food webs. Special guests include native, live turtles. Make crafts to take home! 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 thirty minutes followed by crafts, snacks and time to explore the Museum. Older siblings are welcome to participate in the program. This program series is sponsored by the City of Lewistown, Canton Chamber of Commerce, Havana National Bank, Lewistown VFW Post 5001 Auxiliary, Rusty Melhouse of Edward Jones, and Chris Bennett of Dunfermline.
Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7, 2018, and October 13-14, 2018
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 hosted by the Mackinaw Valley Longrifles.
*View flint-knapping demonstrations and learn about the different techniques these craftsmen use to create various stone tools. (October 6-7 only)
*Enjoy live music by the Bug Trotters, a group of friends who get together to play Old-Time Square Dance music. They will provide lively tunes played on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, and harmonica. (October 6-7 only)
Admission to the Museum as well as all weekend event activities is free. Donations are appreciated. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather as many of these activities will be held outdoors.
Kids’ Day: Birds of a Feather
Saturday, October 20, 2018, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Storyteller, educator and puppeteer Marilyn Price will present “Birds of a Feather,” a trio of stories using puppets and props, and stories from the Native American tradition including, “The Big Rain,” “The Raven” and a gentle story of the wisdom of the sun and the moon! Price creates all her puppet characters using everyday objects so that her audience can create their own and tell stories to make the learning their own. Kids may enjoy making crafts to take home. Kids’ Day programs are for kids ages 5+ years old with an adult. Admission is free. The program will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. in the Museum's auditorium. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Auditorium doors open at 12:00 p.m.
Hickory Ridge Concert Series
October 20, 2018, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
For more than 20 years, people have gathered at Dickson Mounds Museum on the third Saturday of the 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. Described as genuinely talented with classic folk voices, Patty Stevenson and Craig Siemsen are known for their gorgeous harmonies, impeccable musicianship, playful stage humor and jewellike original songs. Patty says about performing, “I try for magic – nothing less! For the place that opens hearts and will move an audience to tears or smiles.” Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Admission: adults $8, kids $5. Visit this Web site for information about the artists.
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
Illinois State Museum Upcoming Programs
The following programs are being sponsored by the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. Unless otherwise noted, the programs occur at the Illinois State Museum at 502 South Spring Street in Springfield, too. For more information, call 217-558-6696.
Genes that Extend Life
Paul Mickey Learning Series presented by Andrzej Bartke, Ph. D.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
All characteristics of living organisms, including the rate of aging and life span, are determined by a complex interplay of genetic composition and environmental influences. The common perception that longevity “runs in the family” is well supported by demographic data and studies of relatives of exceptionally long-lived people. However, the realization that a single gene can have a major impact on longevity is relatively recent. Life-extending mutations, often referred to as longevity genes, were first discovered in microscopic worms, and Dr. Andrzej Bartke’s laboratory provided evidence that they also exist in mammals. Finding such genes provides a unique opportunity for identifying molecular, cellular and organismal mechanisms of aging. The work in Dr. Bartke’s lab focuses on how mutations affecting the production or actions of growth hormone lead to extension of the health span and a remarkable increase in longevity.  Work in other labs indicates that many of Dr. Bartke’s findings in mutant mice are directly applicable to human aging. It is hoped that improved understanding of the mechanisms of aging will lead to devising interventions that can prevent or delay age-related disease, shorten period of frailty and disability, and extend life.
Each month, the Paul Mickey Learning Series features a different speaker and topic in the Auditorium at the Illinois State Museum. For additional information, please contact or 217-558-6696.
Super Saturday: Rock, Mineral, or Fossil?
Saturday, October 6, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
free with museum admission
How can you tell the difference between a rock, mineral or fossil? Come to the Illinois State Museum and find out! Families can make their own fossil, create a watercolor geode, discover fossils, rocks and minerals found in Illinois and take home their very own rock or mineral. “Super Saturdays” offer thematic activities recommended for children ages 5 and up each month. Activities take 30-40 minutes to complete and are included with museum admission. Parents and families are encouraged to participate. For additional information, please contact or 217- 558-6696. Sponsored by Bank of Springfield.
Pumpkins Story Time
Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
free with museum admission
Whether for pies or a jack-o-lanterns, most pumpkins are grown right here in Illinois. Learn more about these big, orange fruits with stories and a craft. “Story Time” is designed for preschool children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. On the second Tuesday of each month, visitors will enjoy picture books, a craft and objects from the museum’s collections. For additional information, please contact or 217-558-6696. Story Time is sponsored by Bank of Springfield.
Civil War Music
Tales from the Vault presented by Christian McWhirter
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Multipurpose Room
Historian Christian McWhirter explains the sheet music industry of the 19th and early 20th centuries—an era when hit songs were available on paper, not the radio or internet. Visitors can see examples of the colorful sheet music and hear musicians play selections. "Tales from the Vault" is a collaborative program hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Museum that allows the public to discover some of the treasures from these institutions' collections. Each program will include the chance to view an artifact or document not normally on display, commentary by a staff member or local scholar, and a chance for group discussion. All programs are free and open to the public.
Mari Black
Music at the Museum Series
Thursday, October 11, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Fee: $10 adults, $8 Museum Members and Children under 12
Multi-style violinist and champion fiddler Mari Black whose energetic playing, engaging stage presence and commitment to bringing people together through music have made her a favorite with audiences across the country and around the world. On stage, she creates shows that draw on elements from many different styles including jazz, tango, folk, Western classical, as well as Celtic, American and Canadian fiddling. Her performances take listeners on a musical journey exploring the diversity and celebrating commonalities in the dance-driven folk music of the world. “Music at the Museum” is a monthly concert series produced by Chris Vallillo featuring the best in contemporary and traditional folk and acoustic music of all styles. Concerts are held the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the museum auditorium. Tickets are available at the door. For more information on the featured acts and a full series schedule, visit this Web site.
Kids Create! Workshop: Rock Art
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Ages: 8-10
Cost: $18 for members, $22 for non-members
Registration deadline: October 9, Space is limited.
You might think that painting on rocks is a modern trend, but Illinois has examples of rock art spanning centuries. Learn about rock art made by Native Americans in Illinois and make your own rock art inspired by both prehistoric and modern artists. Register at For more information contact Sarah Davis at or 217-782-6044.
Opening the Enos-Hatch Wardrobe: What a Collection of 19th Century Clothing Can Tell Us About an Early Illinois Family
Erika Holst, Curator of Art and History, Illinois State Museum
Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center, 1011 E. Ash St., Springfield, Illinois
The Illinois State Museum recently acquired a large collection of 19th century clothing passed down through several generations of the Enos-Hatch family of Springfield. This talk will introduce listeners to the Enos-Hatch family and their impact on Springfield and Illinois and explore what their clothing tells us about the people who wore it and life in the 19th century. Special attention will be given to the extraordinary wedding shirt made by Salome Enos for her son Zimri's 1846 wedding. Bring your lunch and join us for a different speaker and topic on the third Wednesday of each month. “Brown Bag Lectures” are held at the Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center at 1011 East Ash Street in Springfield.* For additional information, please contact or (217) 558-6696. *The Collections Center’s new entrance gate is on Ash Street. The Ash Street entrance must be approached from 11th Street or further east due to the rail closure at Ash and 10 ½ Streets.
From Prairie to Farm to City: Music to Commemorate Illinois’ Bicentennial
Bicentennial Speaker Series presented by Phil Passen
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The music in this presentation, performed by singer and hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen, reflects the story of Illinois, which has been shaped not only by its land and natural features – the prairies, lakes, and rivers – but also by the many cultures that have flourished here: those of Native Americans, French, Germans, African Americans, Latin Americans, and numerous others. Passen will begin with a melody from a Native American tribe indigenous to Illinois. His presentation will feature songs and tunes representing various ethnic communities that have contributed to life in Illinois, including a traditional French song sung regularly only in Illinois and one other place in the U.S.; a song popular among Mexican immigrants; songs of the Underground Railroad; selections representing farmers, workers, labor struggles, disasters, and tragedies; and a few blues and rock-and-roll songs. Passen will provide commentary about the histories of the selections and the contexts in which they have been sung and played in Illinois.
About the presenter:
Chicago-based hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen performs themed programs, for which the Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois recognizes him among the Best of the Best.  Phil is one of few performers who sings while accompanying himself on this fascinating instrument, whose name means “beautiful song.”
This program is part of the “The Culture and Heritage of Illinoisans” series held on the third Sunday of every month through October 2018. The series is presented by the Academy of Lifelong Learning at Lincoln Land Community College in collaboration with the Illinois State Museum and will feature several Road Scholar Speakers offered by Illinois Humanities. For more information, please call the Illinois State Museum, 217-782-0979, or the Academy of Lifelong Learning at Lincoln Land Community College, 217-786-2477.
Hair Wreaths & Mourning Items
Tales from the Vault presented by Erika Holst, Curator of Decorative Arts and History
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center, 1011 E. Ash St., Springfield, Illinois
In the 19th century, death was a part of life. People died from disease, lack of medical care, inadequate food supplies, poor sanitary conditions, farm accidents, fire, and war. To cope with this intimate experience with death, a variety of mourning practices and artifacts emerged that allowed people to both express their grief and to memorialize their loved ones. This presentation will explore mourning artifacts from the museum’s collection along with the etiquette behind them. "Tales from the Vault" is a collaborative program hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Museum which allows the public to discover some of the treasures from these institutions' collections. Each program will include the chance to view an artifact or document not normally on display, commentary by a staff member or local scholar, and a chance for group discussion. Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact or 217-558-6696. The Collections Center’s new entrance gate is on Ash Street. The Ash Street entrance must be approached from 11th Street or further east due to the rail closure at Ash and 10 ½ Streets.