Earth Day in the Park events happening statewide

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

SPRINGFIELD – More than 750 students will visit Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) state parks in April and May for the eighth annual "Earth Day in the Parks" event series.

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 native wildflowers and grasses, transplanting trees, constructing bat roosting boxes, building fish attractors and removing invasive, exotic plant species,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

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 our state while also increasing available wildlifehabitat. Students and teachers are encouraged to  return to the park to study the effects of their  work.

“This is more than just a field trip. It’s an investment in a future generation of potential conservationists,” said Director Miller. “We hope  these students will continue to visit the parks, not  only to witness 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 held earlier this year. 

Fourteen Earth Day in the Parks events will be held between April 17 and May 1 at state parks across Illinois. Funding for the events comes in part from voluntary tax check-off donations to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.