New this Month - May 2022

Grant Applications Available
Applications are being accepted for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Historic Sites FieldTrip Grant, Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant and Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant. You can access the instructions, application forms and other relevant information for all three grant programs here. Start planning today!

Illinois' Natural Resources Trading Cards
All seven sets of the Illinois' Natural Resources Trading Cards from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Division of Education are now available to teachers (grades prekindergarten through 12) in Illinois schools. Make your request in writing on school letterhead and mail to Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702. Visit here for more information about the trading cards and suggestions for use.

Resources Trunks and Packs are Great Teaching Tools for Summer Camps and Programs
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources' trunks and packs are available for loan from locations throughout the state. Trunk topics include wild mammals, trees, prairies, aquatics, invasive species, birds, fossils, pollinators, amphibians and reptiles, state symbols, people and animals from Illinois' past and nature exploration for early childhood students. Teachers, homeschooling educators, scout and youth group leaders, nature center personnel, librarians, day care center staff, camp coordinators 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. Visit here to find the contact information to make a reservation and view the trunk/pack contents lists.

Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
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. 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 is a list of upcoming workshops through November 2022. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE!

Fossil Fishes
Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery, Topeka
June 15, 2022, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
They are toothy! They are tenacious! They are as old as the Triassic! Join Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries staff members for this engaging workshop on the fascinating fossil fish species of Illinois. At this workshop we will discuss the ecological importance, natural history and public persecution of prehistoric predators including catfish, bowfin and gar. Participants will gain valuable insight into the biology, behaviors and evolution of these living fossils while developing ideas for elementary level lesson plans correlated to Next Generation Science Standards. A field trip to a local waterway will complete the day. Developed for teachers of grades four through middle school, other educators are welcome to register but may need to adapt the information and activities, as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Teaching about Birds to Address Next Generation Science Standards
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Chicago
June 21, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Attend this workshop and learn how a third-grade teacher in Chicago uses the topic of Illinois birds in his curriculum to address Next Generation Science Standards in science and engineering. You will participate in activities and lessons that are used in his classroom. Teaching tools and methods will be discussed as will ways to adapt the information, lessons and activities to other grade levels. Here's your chance to see practical teaching methods in action and learn from someone who uses these lessons daily. Although the lessons are targeted to grade three, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to attend the workshop but may need to adapt the materials, as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Illinois Dragonflies and Damselflies
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
June 22, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Join us for this workshop about the dragonflies and damselflies of Illinois! We will be working in the field and in the lab as we discuss the identification, life history and behaviors of these fascinating invertebrates, both as aquatic nymphs and as adults. We will also discuss the interrelationship between the state-endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly, the devil's crayfish and local geology. Come dressed ready to walk in a creek and to take a 1.5-mile round-trip hike. Although targeted to educators of grades six through 10, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted as appropriate. You'll be provided with several resources to use with your students. Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Oaks and the Animals that Need Them
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
July 16, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wander down the path to The Morton Arboretum and 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. Gather outdoor activities that focus on producers, consumers, decomposers and how species are adapted to survive in oak woodlands. Although targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten through four, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You'll take away several resources to use in your classroom! Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Illinois Prairies
Vermilion County Conservation District, Forest Glen Preserve, Westville
August 27, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Imagining the vast prairies of Illinois' past is difficult, but you can visit an existing prairie if you join us for this workshop. Designed for educators of grades kindergarten through eight, you will learn about the organisms of the prairie and how they interact. We'll take a walk through the prairie and discuss the animals and plants that we find. Illinois-specific educational resources will be provided, and suggestions will be given for using them to help you meet Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the information, as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program. Register here.

Illinois' Butterflies
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
September 10, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Flutter in and join other educators of grades prekindergarten through four as we are introduced to the butterflies of Illinois! Butterfly life history, identification, conservation and adaptations will be discussed. Information on developing butterfly habitat will also be included. Learn about Monarch Watch and other butterfly conservation programs. Correlations between the information presented and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and Next Generation Science Standards will be addressed. Professional Development Hours are available. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program. Register here.

Pollinators on the Prairie
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
September 17, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Buzz over to The Morton Arboretum to learn about pollinators on the prairie. We will look at how plants and animals have adapted to survive in this harsh ecosystem, collect and analyze data to determine how humans impact the ecosystem's balance and see how bees see when learning about energy transfer within the prairie. Although targeted to teachers of grades four through eight, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You will take away several resources to use in your classroom! Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators: Insects
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
September 24, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 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 insects. We will focus on the life history of common insect species, and we will go on a hike to look for insects and their signs. You will receive training in using basic equipment. We will also discuss developing wildlife habitat on your school grounds. We will 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 will take away numerous resources to use with young children when learning about nature. Professional Development Hours are available. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program. Register here.

Tracks, Scats and Habitats
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, St. Charles
October 1, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Often when exploring nature, instead of seeing an animal, we find what it left behind. Join us in this exploration of animal signs and how they relate to habitats. We'll be practicing our skills on an outdoor field trip, too. We'll show you how to incorporate the topic into your lessons and provide resources to help you do so. Although targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten 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. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators: Amphibians
Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville
October 8, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 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 amphibians in your community. We will focus on the life history of common amphibian species, and we will go on a hike to look for amphibians. We will show you how to use the topic of "Illinois amphibians" to support the teaching of several of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for science and Next Generation Science Standards with your students. Professional Development Hours are available. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program. Register here.

Illinois Woodlands
Vermilion County Conservation District, Kennekuk Environmental Education Center, Kennekuk County Park, Danville
October 15, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Join staff members from the Vermilion County Conservation District as they teach us about the interrelationships of organisms in Illinois woodlands. Targeted to educators of grades four through 10, this workshop will include discussions of species adaptations, relationships of woodland organisms to each other and the physical environment, invasive species and much more. We'll take a tour to see examples of these topics and will do some hands-on sampling. Supplemental educational materials and activities will be provided and demonstrated throughout the day. Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Winter Birds of Illinois
Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria
November 5, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Educators will learn birding basics such as how to use binoculars and field guides and how to incorporate these skills in the classroom. They will also receive ideas for activities and lesson plans about birds that are present year-round or as migrants to the area. We will go on a hike to observe birds in their natural habitats and learn how technology can be used in the classroom to learn about migration patterns. Although targeted to teachers of grades six through eight, other educators are welcome to register for the workshop but may need to adapt the information and resources, as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Wildlife Conservation
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
November 5, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Join us for this exploration of wildlife conservation practices in the state. We'll discuss what wildlife conservation is, how it is implemented and how it has changed over time. We'll look at how changes in the environment can affect wildlife conservation and how people and legislation affect wildlife conservation, too. Correlations between the information presented and Next Generation Science Standards will be addressed. Although targeted to teachers of grades three through middle school, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for and attend this workshop but may need to adapt the information for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental educational resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

Tracks, Scats and Habitats
Starved Rock State Park, Utica
November 12, 2022, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Often when exploring nature, instead of seeing an animal, we find what it left behind. Join us in this exploration of animal signs and how they relate to habitats. We'll be practicing our skills on an outdoor field trip, too. We'll show you how to incorporate the topic into your lessons and provide resources to help you do so. Although targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten 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. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Register here.

May Kids for Conservation®: Sorting Out Taxonomy: Phyla
The May edition of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic "Sorting Out Taxonomy: Phyla." You can learn basic facts about this topic in the information section. Watch the video podcast, too. Educators, there are resources for you to utilize. "Kids in Action" features students who are taking action to benefit the Illinois environment.

May Video Podcast: Sorting Out Taxonomy: Phyla
The Sorting Out Taxonomy: Phyla video podcast is available on the Podcasts pageand on YouTube.

Visit the Wild about Illinois. . . Web Page Soon
This Web page is updated regularly with new information. Visit and explore!

Species Search Web Page
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Biodiversity of Illinois Species Search Web page allows you to find information quickly and easily. Give it a try!

Tours available at the IDNR's Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery
Ever wonder where the big bass, plentiful panfish or massive muskie in your local lake come from? Come to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery in Topeka, Illinois, and find out! Now is a great time to visit Illinois' largest fish hatchery to see where many of your favorite sportfish begin their life. Jake Wolf Fish Hatchery accepts requests for scheduled tours, by appointment only, Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tour groups are limited to 15 people. All ages are welcome. For more information on public tours please call the hatchery at 309-968-7531 or email site coordinator Frank Sladek at Frank.Sladek@illinois.gov. For more information on the hatchery, visit https://ifishillinois.org/programs/hatchery.html or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JakeWolfHatchery/.

Giant City State Park Provides Monthly Topics for Teachers
If you teach in the Carbondale area or other parts of southern Illinois, you can ask to be added to the monthly teachers' topic email from the Natural Resources Coordinator at Giant City State Park. Each month you will receive an email with links to teaching resources and learning standards for the topic as well as ideas on how you could teach about the topic by bringing your students to Giant City State Park. For more information or to sign up, send an email to Jennifer Randolph at jennifer.randolph@illinois.gov.

Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks Spring Educational Programming
Thank you for choosing Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks as a field trip destination for your students, scouts and classmates! What better location to engage students in their natural surroundings than the trails, canyons and sandstone overlooks of these two state parks. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) offers FREE guided hikes/programs by request through the Natural Resources Coordinator. Can't make it to the park for an on-site field trip? The IDNR has educational trunks and packs available for loan to educators on topics such as mammals, birds, trees, insects, people of Illinois' past and more. Further information can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/education/Pages/ItemsForLoan.aspx. Not comfortable using the educational trunks and curriculum? No problem, the Natural Resources Coordinator can come to you! Schedule a Classroom Visit or a Virtual Visit with a Naturalist at https://www2.Illinois.gov/dnr/parks/pages/starvedrock.aspx. Call or email to set up your field trip today! Lisa Sons, Natural Resources Coordinator, lisa.sons@illinois.gov, 815-667-5356

Teacher Professional Development at the Illinois State Museum
Looking for new ways to grow, learn and earn some Certified Professional Development Hours? Join the Illinois State Museum this spring and summer for engaging teacher professional development programs. Please check out the Web page for what is available and register at https://bit.ly/ISMTeacherPD.

Coming virtual programs and workshops 

Ulysses S. Grant and Race, (1 CPDU), April 26, 2022, at 6:00 p.m.
Cloudbreaking: Female Aviators of Illinois, (1 CPDU), May 10, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.
Climate Change Through the Ages, (1 CPDU), May 26, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. 

Coming this summer in-person
Exploring Water PD, (6 CPDU), June 23, 2022, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact lorna.shuman@illinois.gov.