Conservation World at Illinois State Fair Offers Free Activities for Youth and Families

Chris McCloud
Conservation World at Illinois State Fair Offers Free Activities for Youth and Families
SPRINGFIELD, IL � Illinois State Fair visitors are invited to sample the state�s outdoor recreation programs and natural wonders by spending time at Conservation World during this year�s fair, Aug. 9-18 in Springfield.  Conservation World is a 30-acre park with grass, shade trees, and ponds on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Conservation World, located on the northwest corner of the state fairgrounds, will be open to state fair visitors on weekend days (both Saturdays and Sundays of the fair) from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and weekdays (Monday-Friday) from 11 a.m. � 7 p.m.  Conservation World is easily accessible through a pedestrian gate near the Junior Livestock Building, and via a state fair tram stop next to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) headquarters.

�The Illinois Department of Natural Resources welcomes state fair visitors to Conservation World to relax and learn about the great ways to enjoy the outdoors in Illinois,� said IDNR Director Marc Miller.  �One of our focuses is presenting programs to get more youth involved in outdoor activities � part of Governor Quinn�s campaign to the �Leave No Child Inside.�  Conservation World is a great place for families and children to learn more about the outdoors.� 

Popular activities for youth at Conservation World include kids fishing clinics at the pond inside the Conservation World gate, with all bait and tackle provided.  The free fishing clinics for youngsters are part of the IDNR Urban Fishing Program.  Clinic times are 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, 11:15 a.m. on Monday-Friday, and each day at 12 noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m.

Free archery and BB gun practice ranges for youth are hosted by the IDNR Shooting Sports Development Program and the IDNR Safety Education Program.

IDNR wildlife and fisheries staffs host displays and are available to answer questions at Conservation World about hunting and fishing prospects, as well as habitat enhancement programs that are available to assist private landowners.

State fair visitors can purchase Illinois hunting and fishing licenses, get a photo and application for a FOID card, and learn about the duties of a Conservation Police officer at the IDNR Law Enforcement tent. 

Chris Camp � �The Whip Guy� � will present his world-champion whip-cracking show daily in Conservation World at the state fair at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.  All performances are free of charge.

Hunting dog demonstrations by dog trainer Dan Ihrke are scheduled for the Conservation World pond and shoreline three times daily at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

Illinois State Fair admission includes free admission to Conservation World.

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