Earth Day in the Parks

What is it?

Earth Day in the Parks is an event to promote stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. In April and May, students and their teachers from throughout Illinois will come to participating Illinois state parks to take part in natural resources stewardship activities such as: planting native trees and wildflowers; building and installing nesting/roosting boxes for birds and bats; removing invasive exotic species; and constructing woodland ponds for salamanders and frogs. Students will be helping the environment and wildlife, participating in outdoor activities to increase their fitness and learning that their actions can make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to return to the state park to see and study the results of their work.

Who sponsors this event?

Earth Day in the Parks is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). A grant was also received from the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.

When is it?

Earth Day in the Parks is held in April and May. Dates vary by location.

Can my class participate?

The IDNR Division of Education accepts applications from teachers who would like for their class to participate in the program. The application form is posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm. Participating state parks are listed on this Web site, also. The completed application form must be mailed to the address shown on the form. Only one application per teacher will be accepted. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No faxed, emailed or personally delivered applications will be accepted. The application must be RECEIVED by the IDNR Division of Education any day from January 1 through February 28. A drawing will be held in March to determine classes that will participate at each state park. All applicants will be notified by email after the drawing as to their status. Winners will be provided with additional information. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of the projects that students will be working on, parks have grade-level and other restrictions for participants. See the Web page listed above for details.

What else should I know?