Celebrate Summer Outdoors in Illinois

Chris Young
Celebrate Summer Outdoors in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, IL � As Americans celebrate the nation�s independence and freedom during the summer of 2014, Illinoisans and visitors to the Land of Lincoln can enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities at Illinois State Parks, and special events hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

�In 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt established the U.S. Forest Service to provide meaningful protections for our natural resources and open space in America.  Thanks to that act and other initiatives that advanced a conservation ethic in this country, all of us today have the freedom to enjoy spending time outdoors,� said IDNR Director Marc Miller.  �We encourage families to celebrate our outdoor opportunities this summer by spending time connecting with nature at our great state parks, local parks, and natural lands.�   

Among upcoming events at IDNR sites:

Northern Illinois
Sunday, July 27 � Noon � 5 p.m.
International Bog Day � Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside:  Bogs in Art (Art Show), live music, storytelling, crafts, food

Central Illinois
Friday, Aug. 8-Sunday, Aug. 17
Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair, Springfield:  Free activities for families, including youth fishing clinics, youth archery, and wildlife, mines and minerals, fisheries, state park, and natural heritage displays

Southern Illinois
Sunday, July 27, 10 a.m.
Wildflower Walk, Cave-in-Rock State Park, Cave-in-Rock, IL: 4-hour walk with expert instruction on plant identification, invasive species

Saturday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m.
Program and nature hike on dragonflies, Cache River Wetlands Center, Cypress, IL:  Discussion of more than 40 species of dragonflies at the wetlands center, followed by nature hike in search of dragonflies in the wetland

Special events happen throughout the year at Illinois State Parks and State Museum facilities.  Check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov for event and activities details.

�Whether it�s a special event, a series of nature walks, or an unplanned weekend picnic or trail ride, Illinois State Parks are great places to visit throughout the year,� Director Miller added.  �Our �State Parks, Great Parks� webpage is a good place to start planning your daytrip, weekend, or special adventure at a state park in Illinois.� 

The IDNR this summer introduced the �State Parks, Great Parks� initiative as part of the effort to make Illinois� great state parks even better.  �State Parks, Great Parks� is made possible thanks to new funding for state parks approved by the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pat Quinn in 2012 as part of the IDNR Sustainable Funding legislation.  The dedicated funds for state parks have been and will be used for maintenance equipment, campground and picnic area repairs, park road repairs, and for filling long-vacant park staff positions.

The �State Parks, Great Parks� webpage on the IDNR website can be found at
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