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New this Month - October 2021

Illinois Wild Mammals Resources Trunks Available in Nine Additional Counties
The Illinois Wild Mammals resources trunk is now available for loan in nine additional counties.
Coles: University of Illinois Extension Coles County Office, Mattoon
De Kalb: Genoa Public Library, Genoa
Fayette: Evans Public Library, Vandalia
Henderson: Henderson County Public Library, Biggsville
Kendall: Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville
Lawrence: Red Hills State Park, Sumner
Livingston: Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District, Pontiac
White: Groff Memorial Public Library, Grayville
Whiteside: University of Illinois Extension, Sterling
Visit this Web page for the contact information for these sites and make your reservation today!

Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Optional Preliminary Application Deadline is October 31
Pollinator gardens, butterfly gardens, rain gardens, prairie gardens, tree arboretums, bird nesting boxes and bat roosting boxes are just some of the projects to benefit wildlife and learning that can be developed through the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program. Submit your application by the optional preliminary application deadline of October 31, 2021, and it will be reviewed for common errors that cause disqualification. Should you have any of those errors, you will be given until November 30, 2021, to revise the application and submit it again. A program of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Education, funding is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Funds are donated by the Jadel Youth Fund and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation. 

Resources Trunks and Packs for Loan
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ resources trunks and packs are available for loan from locations throughout the state. These Illinois-specific units are filled with items for hands-on learning. There are trunks for 11 topics and field packs on three additional topics. 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. Lessons are correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, as appropriate. Suggested grade levels are provided but modifications can be made for use at other grade levels. Visit this Web page to find the contact information to make a reservation, trunk/pack contents list and other information.

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. Visit the ENTICE registration page for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE!

Wildlife through the Year
Hoover Forest Preserve, Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville
October 9, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Join us for this workshop targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten through middle school. We will show you techniques and options for observing wildlife throughout the year and collecting data from these observations. We will demonstrate how to use these data sets to help your students meet relevant learning standards in science. Local, abundant wildlife species that can easily be observed throughout the year will be used as examples. 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. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP WILL CLOSE AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2021.

Illinois Biodiversity 101
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
October 23, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
What is biodiversity? Does Illinois have much biodiversity? How are plants and animals adapted for survival in the four major habitat types in the state? Can some species live in all of these habitats? We’ll answer these questions and provide much more information about aquatic, woodland, wetland and urban habitats and their inhabitants in this introduction to the natural resources of our state. Numerous supplemental educational items will be provided. Although targeted to educators of grades kindergarten through three, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register but may need to adapt the materials 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. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP WILL CLOSE AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2021.

Energy and Survival
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
October 30, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Bring your sunny disposition to The Morton Arboretum to learn how energy moves through an ecosystem and what plants and animals need to survive. Energy, cycles, producers, consumers, decomposers and adaptations will be among the topics covered. Designed for teachers of grades five through eight, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop but may need to adapt the information, as appropriate. Illinois-specific 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. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP WILL CLOSE AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2021.
 
Tracks, Scats and Habitats
Starved Rock State Park, Utica,
November 6, 2021, 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.

Trees Create Habitats for Wildlife
Cache River Wetlands Visitors’ Center, Cypress
November 6, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.   
Join us at this workshop to discover how trees provide important habitats for many wildlife species. We will discuss common trees in the area and how they provide benefits to specific animals. Learn how you can use trees on your school grounds to help you study wildlife with your students. Although targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten through four, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop but may need to adapt the information and activities, as appropriate. Correlations to relevant Next Generation Science Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards will be provided and discussed. 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.

Forest Habitats
Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria
November 13, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  
Educators will learn about forest types in Illinois and the animals that inhabit them. The focus of this workshop will be on the interconnectedness of forest creatures and the trees and other plants that provide their home. Teachers will receive activities and lesson plans to use both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as gaining hands-on experiences. Although targeted to teachers of grades one through three, 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.

October Kids for Conservation®: Pecan
The October edition of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic “Pecan.” 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.

October Video Podcast – Pecan
The Pecan video podcast will be available on the Podcasts page. This video podcast will also be available 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 Revised
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Biodiversity of Illinois Species Search Web page has been updated. It's fast and easy to find information. Give it a try!

Upcoming Programs at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown
Fall Colors and Nature Discovery
October 1-31, 2021, daily, dawn until dusk
Free
Enjoy the fall colors and discover the variety of trees and other nature tidbits along the trails at Dickson Mounds! Through the month of October, different points of interest will be highlighted along the trails.  This self-guided experience will be available daily, from dawn until dusk, October 1-31, 2021, and will begin at the Picnic Hill Trailhead Kiosk. Dress appropriately for the outdoors, including proper footwear, such as hiking boots or other closed-toe shoes with a good tread. Bring your own water, snacks and other necessary supplies for this outdoor experience. Be sure to share photos of your experience on our Facebook page, Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds. Happy Hiking!

Tot Time: Autumn Trees
October 7, 2021, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Free
Tot Time is happening this month at Dickson Mounds! Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month. A different topic is featured each month.
Tots and their caretakers may enjoy a self-guided tree walk on the Museum’s grounds and have fun finding and looking at the different leaves, sticks and nuts. Afterwards, tots may create works of art with their nature finds. The 2021 Tot Time program series is sponsored by Canton Chamber of Commerce, Havana National Bank, Jeff and Linda Sisson of Havana and an anonymous donor.

Kid's Cache: Rocks, Minerals and Fossils
October 16, 2021, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Free
To celebrate Earth Sciences Week, kids are welcome to pick-up a FREE Rocks, Minerals and Fossils activity bag on Saturday, October 16, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Activities are geared towards kids five years old and up. Giveaway items are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

New Trailhead Kiosks Celebration
October 30, 2021, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Free
Join us for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of the new trailhead kiosks on the Museum’s grounds and to recognize local Havana resident and Eagle Scout candidate Karac Henderson, the Henderson Family, members of Boy Scout Troop #166 and project sponsors, including LaCrosse Lumber, Havana Chamber of Commerce, Havana’s Casey’s General Store, Mason City Subway, Pizza Ranch, Hugh McHarry, the Lasswell Family, Paul English, Ryan Stehly, Tracy Tomm Abdul Maued and John Morgan.  A commemorative plaque will also be placed on a kiosk the day of the event.  Afterwards, participants are welcome to enjoy a hike. The event will be held at the Museum’ Picnic Hill shelter. Dress appropriately for the outdoors, including proper footwear, such as hiking boots or other closed-toe shoes with a good tread. Bring water, trail snacks, and other desired supplies.

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’ (IDNR) Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery in Topeka, Illinois, and find out! With over one million fish on site, 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 Fall 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 here. 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 here. Call or email to set up your field trip today! Lisa Sons, Natural Resources Coordinator, Lisa.sons@illinois.gov, 815-667-5356

Illinois State Museum Fall Teacher Professional Development
Join the Illinois State Museum this fall for engaging teacher professional development workshops. Registration is required as space is limited. Most workshops are free. Registration opens one month prior to the professional development opportunity. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Lorna Shuman at lorna.shuman@illinois.gov or at 217-782-0061.

Several virtual public programs will be offered for one CPDU hour. Once registered, you will be asked to sign in on a Google form at the start of the program if you want CPDU hours. At the end, you will need to sign out on a Google form that also has the ISBE evaluation. The following public programs are being offered with CPDU hours.
October 7, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. Up in Flames: Living with Fire Throughout Illinois History, Advanced registration is required at https://bit.ly/ILFireHistory.
October 12, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. In Her Footsteps: Elizabeth Packard The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore, cost of $9.00, plus additional cost for the book and/or gift package, (optional). Tickets are required, and space is limited. Tickets and information can be accessed at https://bit.ly/IHFElizabethPackard.
October 13, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. Why We Study Old Dead Things in honor of National Fossil Day, Advanced registration is required at https://bit.ly/OldDeadThings.
October 26, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. From Cradle to Grave: Ages and Stages of 1800s Women's Clothing, Advanced registration is required at https://bit.ly/Ages-Stages.
November 4, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. Tales from the Vault: Fossil Finds in Midwestern Caves, Advanced registration is required, http://bit.ly/TFVNov21.

Two additional professional developments are available specifically for teachers.
October 5, 2021, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Exploring the Chicago Fire
The story says that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started the Great Chicago Fire on October 10, 1871, tearing through Chicago’s wooden structures and leaving the city in ruin. Explore primary and secondary sources to understand what really happened. Learn how Chicago rose from the ashes and how innovation sometimes comes from hardship in this 2-hour Professional Development workshop for educators. Advance registration is required, https://bit.ly/ChicagoFirePD.

November 9, November 30 and December 7, 2021, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Study Circle PD for Teachers: Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask
Have you ever wanted to learn more about Indigenous people to include into your teaching? Learn more about Indigenous people through a study circle using Anton Treuer’s book Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask: Young Readers Edition. Participants will receive a free copy of the book to help them read and discuss the book over three meetings. This book is broken up into questions and answers that show misconceptions we might have about native people and answer questions that many people have about the original inhabitants of this land. Teachers will receive eight CPDU hours. This workshop does require some reading outside of the meeting times. All meetings must be attended to receive all eight hours. Advance registration is required, https://bit.ly/StudyCirclePDFall.