Macon County Conservation District Explore the Outdoors
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Awareness Hikes for Students & Youth Groups

These hikes emphasize sensory awareness and appreciation of nature. All hikes focus on discovery and the wonder of the natural world.

There is a minimum fee of $10.00 for each tour or program. One adult, including the teacher, for each 10 students will be admitted free of charge. Chaperones are discouraged from bringing younger children.

Sensory Hike
Colors, shapes, touch, sounds and smells of nature are experienced in the autumn woods and prairies.
Who: Preschool
Time: 45 min.
SLS: 8AEC, 9AECa, 12AECa, 12BEC, 12EECa, 12FEC

Changes - Seasons
Plants and animals are preparing for what comes next. We will explore the autumn woods to find clues of their preparation.
Who: Kindergarten
Time: 45 min. – 1 hour
SLS: 11AKa, 12AKa & b, 12BK, 12CK, 12EKa, 12FK, 13BKa

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
So many bugs, so little time! We will meet a few on our hike and look at what makes a bug a bug.
Who: K through 3rd grade
Time: 1 hour
SLS: 11AKa & c, 11BKa, 12AKa & b, 12BK, 12CK, 12DK, 13BKa, 12A, 1a, 1b, 12 B, 1a, 1b

Seeds - Nature's Hitchhikers
Take a hike to see what hitches a ride. Look at seeds close-up and aid in seed dispersal.
Who: 1st through 3rd grade
Time: 1 hour
SLS: 12A, 1a, 1b, 12B, 1a, 1b

Pond Life
Hike to a pond to look for turtles, frogs and other critters that live in or around the water.
Who: 1st through 3rd grade
Time: 1 hour
SLS: 12A, 1a, 1b, 2a, 12B, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b

Prairie Paths
Experience a prairie in all its glory. Learn about “turkey foot and Indian grass,” how the Native Americans and pioneers felt about the prairie and what happened to it.
Who: 3rd grade
Time: 1 hour
SLS: 12A, 1a, 1b, 12B, 1a, 1b, 16E, 1(us), 2a(us), 2c(us)


Our Educational Guide is available to all teachers. If your school hasn't received one or you would like extra copies, give us a call at 217-423-7708.
Information for Educators

- General Information & Reservations
- Tips for a "Greener" Field Trip
- Awareness Hikes
- Nature Programs
- Special Presentations
- Mobile Nature Center
- Muesum in a Box
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Lending Trunks
- Grants and Workshops
- Shilling Library at Rock Springs

Visit Our Conservation Areas

Rock Springs Conservation Area
Friends Creek Conservation Area
Sand Creek Conservation Area
Griswold Conservation Area
Fort Daniel Conservation Area


The Macon County Conservation District invites you to visit the many natural areas in Macon County, Illinois, including Rock Springs Nature Center, which offers nature programs, special activities, nature hikes, summer camps, music programs, conference rooms for all ages throughout the year in Decatur, Illinois.
Macon County Conservation District
3939 Nearing Lane
Decatur, IL 62521
(217) 423-7708

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The Prairie Islander

Click for Printable Educator's Guide