Illinois DNR Newsbits - August 2019

Rachel Torbert
Illinois DNR Newsbits - August 2019
Conservation World at Illinois State Fair Aug. 9-18:  The 2019 Illinois State Fair in Springfield promises plenty of fun and excitement, and fair visitors should plan to make Conservation World a destination while at the fair on Aug. 9-18. Conservation World is a 30-acre park on the state fairgrounds filled with family activities and entertainment, including fishing instruction, archery ranges, expert information on habitat enhancement, state parks, wildlife, fish, and forestry, and the popular Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show. Conservation World will be open daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

Lake Le-Aqua-Na Park Improvement Projects Open House Aug. 15:  The IDNR will host an informational open house on the upcoming Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park site improvement projects Thursday, Aug. 15 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the upper level of the Lena Community Center. Staff from the IDNR will be on hand to answer questions and displays depicting the extent of the planned improvement projects will be presented. The projects will necessitate closing the park for calendar year 2020. Stations also will be available at the open house for those wishing to leave comments. The Lena Community Center is located at 497 Lions Dr., Lena, 61048.

Firearm Deer Permits:  Permit applications will be accepted until Aug. 16 for the third lottery drawing for 2019 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits. For details, check the IDNR website at

Resident Archery Deer Permits:  Resident combination and antlerless-only archery deer permits are now available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor link here:

Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits:  Illinois Non-Resident Archery Deer combination permits are now available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Illinois Archery Deer Season is Oct. 1, 2019 through Jan. 19, 2020.
Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun Season:  Hunters may apply through Aug. 19 for the second lottery for 2019 Illinois Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun Season permits. Season dates are Oct. 19-27.  For more information:

IDNR Special Wildlife Grants Applications:  The IDNR is accepting grant applications from qualifying entities interested in developing projects to enhance wildlife habitat through the Illinois Habitat Fund and the State Pheasant Fund. Applications for grants through the Illinois Habitat Fund must be submitted by Aug. 19; applications for grants through the State Pheasant Fund must be submitted by Aug. 23. Any prospective Special Wildlife Funds grant applicants can email or call 217-785-4416 for more information and grant application assistance.

Grand American:  The Amateur Trapshooting Association Grand American World Trapshooting Championships continue through Aug. 10 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill. Check the ATA website for details at

Stephen Hawking and Black Holes at Illinois State Museum Aug. 7:  University of Illinois Springfield Emeritus Professor of Astronomy Charles Schweighauser will present a program on scientist Stephen Hawking and the origin of black holes Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. The free program will include an analysis of the physics of black holes that led to Hawking's most profound theoretical discovery - the radiation that originates from them and eventually leads to their demise. For additional information, contact or 217-558-6696.

Music at the Museum Aug. 8 in Springfield: Guitarist Hayes Griffin and mandolinist Nate Roberts will perform Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the monthly “Music at the Museum” concert at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. With more than 30 years of combined experience in the world of folk and traditional music, Hayes and Nate blend influences such as bluegrass, jazz, Irish, and classical to create a truly unique sound. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, visit

Canoe for Health at Emiquon Aug. 8:  Improve your health, wellness, and knowledge of central Illinois wildlife and history by helping paddle The Nature Conservancy’s new Voyageur canoe at the Emiquon Preserve near Dickson Mounds Museum in Fulton County Thursday, Aug. 8 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information, email the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge at or call 309-535-2290.

Astronomy and Perseid Meteor Shower Family Night Aug. 10:  Beginning at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, bring the family and spend the overnight viewing the Perseid meteor shower outside Dickson Mounds Museum. This special Family Night event begins at 10:00 p.m. Aug. 10 and continues until 5:00 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11. Families can enjoy learning about the night sky from astronomer Kevin Manning’s presentation “Astronomy for Everyone” at 10:15 p.m. in the Dickson Mounds Museum auditorium. With Kevin’s guidance, participants then will be able to view the night sky from the Museum’s observation deck, snack bar area porch, or the Museum’s grounds. For more information, call 309-547-3721.

Online Dove Permits:  Online applications are being accepted for Illinois Free Dove Hunting Permits. Hunters may apply on a first-come, first-served basis through Aug. 25 for any permits that remain. For more information on dove hunting permit areas and free dove permits, check the IDNR website at

Upland Game Permits:  Hunters may apply through Aug. 31 for the Illinois 2019 Free Upland Game Hunt Permit program. Applications must be made online, and successful applicants will receive a confirmation by mail. Application information is available at

Sandburg Songbag Concert Aug. 11 in Galesburg:  Andy Crawford and Harry Tonchev will perform Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg as part of the Sandburg Songbag Concert Series. This guitar and bass duo will be sharing tunes from the Great American Songbook and beyond. The performance by Crawford and Tonchev will be in the Sandburg site’s barn at 313 E. Third Street in Galesburg. A donation of $5 per person is suggested. The show starts at 4:00 p.m.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman:  A few reservations are still available for the annual “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” workshop at the Touch of Nature Environmental Center/Giant City State Park Sept. 27-29. The workshop fee is $240, which includes meals, lodging, class instruction, use of class equipment and supplies, transportation during the workshop, and lots of fun. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.  Log onto the IDNR website at this link for more information and registration materials:

Native Wildflower Seeds at Conservation World Aug. 9-18:  Stop by the IDNR Education Tent at Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 9-18, for information for school teachers and activities for children and adults. The first 5,000 families can get a free packet of native wildflowers and grasses seeds to develop an at-home pollinator garden. 

Museum After Hours Features the 80s and 90s Aug. 23 in Springfield:  Throw on your Starter jacket and pull your hair into a side ponytail and head to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield Friday, Aug. 23 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to relive the 80s and 90s with games, objects from the Museum collection, door prizes and dance music. All attendees are encouraged to dress in 80s or 90s attire. All tickets include a free beverage with additional beverages and food available for purchase. Tickets will be available at the door or online at

Hometown Music Festival Aug. 24 at Dickson Mounds:  Join us for Dickson Mounds Museum's second annual Lloyd Loar's Hometown Music Festival Saturday, Aug. 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Performances by Andy Hatfield and Solly Burton, Chris Vallillo, The Rocky Ford Rounders, and The Nathan Taylor Band are scheduled with guest performances welcomed. The festival will be held rain or shine. Performances will be held on the Museum's outdoor stage. Admission is free; however, donations are appreciated. Food will be available for purchase courtesy of Holy Smokes BBQ. This event is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Two Rivers Arts Council.

Camping Reservations:  Make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at using a credit card.

INPC Meeting Sept. 10:  The 233rd meeting of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 2204 Dewitt Avenue East, Mattoon, 61938. The meeting is open to the public.  For more information, call the INPC at 217-785-8686.
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