Starved Rock Natural Resource Coordinator

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Lisa Sons, Natural Resource Coordinator,
Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks
2678 N. Route 178
PO Box 509
Utica, Il 61373

Are you interested in planning a field trip for your school, classroom, or youth group? Please view the information provided below and contact the Natural Resource Coordinator, Lisa Sons at lisa.sons@illinois.gov.

Field Trip Information (schools, scouts, homeschool organizations, and more)

Would you like your home school group, classroom, school, or scout group to experience a guided hike or specialized program with our Natural Resource Coordinator on site? Email Lisa at lisa.sons@illinois.gov at least 1 month before your expected field trip date with the completed Program Request Form.

Will you have more than 20 people visiting the park on a field trip, a hiking trip, or a campout?

Activity Permits (REQUIRED-any group of 20 or more people)

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Land Management requires any group of 20 or more persons who use Department facilities to have advance written permission from the Site Superintendent.

Regardless of group size, the Department may require additional liability coverage to be provided through an Activity Permit. Release of Liability can be used if your organization, family, or school does not have liability insurance. Site managers may deny the request if the facilities are not adequate to handle the size of the group if public health or safety might be compromised, if the liability risk to the Department is too great or if there would be adverse impacts on natural resources at the site.

Activity Permits are to be used whenever a non-traditional use of any facility is requested (for example - a family reunion in the picnic area) and/or any activity that might increase potential liability to the Department (for example - search and rescue teams practicing on rock faces). These requests need to be made at least 21 days in advance of the activity and forwarded to the Regional Office for processing.

Guidelines for completing Activity Permits

  1. Complete the Activity Permit at least 2-3 weeks before the scheduled visit.

  2. Acquire Proof of Liability Insurance (business, school, or organization can ask their administrator or main office) or have each participant sign the Release of Liability Form ahead of time.

  3. Email, mail, or drop off the completed Activity Permit and Proof of Liability Insurance together (or, Release of Liability) to DNR.StarvedRock@illinois.gov at least 2-3 weeks before the scheduled visit.

    Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center
    PO Box 509
    Utica, IL 61373

  4. The Site Superintendent will respond within 2 weeks from the time the permit was handed in with an approval or denial of the group visit through email (DNR.StarvedRock@illinois.gov) or phone at 1-815-667-4726.

Jr Ranger Badge Jr. Ranger Program

Hey, kids! Starved Rock now has a Jr. Ranger program! Jr. Ranger booklets are available to pick up at the Starved Rock Visitor Center during regular operational hours from 9-4 daily (closed on holidays from November through March).

Booklets are designed for kids ages 5 through 13. Activities within these booklets can be completed using displays and exhibits inside the visitor center and hiking trails within the park. Completed booklets can be turned in to the front desk at the visitor center before 3:30 p.m. daily.   Those who complete the Junior Ranger booklet requirements will receive a Junior Ranger badge and prize!