Macon County Conservation District Explore the Outdoors
Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Macon County Conservation District Events & Program Calendar
Decatur, Illinois

Rock Springs Nature Center is located on the southwestern edge of Decatur at 3939 Nearing Lane. To get to Rock Springs Center from Decatur go south on Route 48 and turn right onto Rock Springs Road. Watch for signs. Plenty of parking is available. Rock Springs GPS Coordinates are 39.817713 N, 89.00932 W [get directions]


Events and more can be found in our
Newsletter, The Prairie Islander.

For reservations, call (217) 423-7708.

Event Categories

Online Registration - Camps, Workshops, Special Events, Pavilion Rental

April

Special Events
Family Adventures
Hands-On Nature
Hikes & Walks

May

Special Events
Family Adventures
Hands-On Nature
Hikes & Walks



Music

Bluegrass Music Jams and Dulcimer Club Meetings at Rock Springs Nature Center offer a perfect opportunity to rediscover musical interests and talents. Bring your instrument, learn a new tune or simply enjoy the musical talents of our volunteers.

Dulcimer Club (held in East Conference Room)
Saturday, April 12, 10a.m.-12p.m.
Saturday April 26, 10a.m.-12p.m
.
Saturday, May 24, 10a.m.-12p.m.
Saturday, May 11, 10a.m.-12p.m.

Blue Grass Music Jams
Sunday, April 13, 1-4p.m.
Sunday, May 11, 1-4p.m.

Shape Note Singing

Stop by Rock Springs Nature Center for a demonstration of Shape Note Singing. Come and enjoy the music at this free event.

Experienced singers from the Charleston-Mattoon Sacred Harp Singers will delight the public with their unique music. Shape note singing is a traditional style of unaccompanied group singing using solfa notation. The shape of the note indicates its pitch.

Shape Note Singing at Rock Springs Nature Center:
Sunday, May 25, 2-4p.m.


Meetings

Macon County Conservation District Board Meeting at Rock Springs Nature Center
See past Board Meeting Minutes & Agendas here.
Wednesday, April 23, 5:30pm
Wednesday, May 21, 5:30pm

Decatur Audubon Society Meeting
Saturday, May 17, 8:00a.m. at RSCA Pavilion

Prairie Heritage Volunteer Meeting
Rock Springs Nature Center, Harriet and Norman Greenberg Auditorium


Art & Exhibits

Many artists are influenced by nature. Exhibits and displays at Rock Springs Nature Center provide a unique perspective of the natural world as presented by local artists.

North Gallery- Spring Featured Artists

Sue Watts - March & April
Take in the masterful representations of flora, fauna, and nature scenes in watercolor by artist Sue Watts.

Alan Perry - May & June
Moments in the lives of wildlife and nature have been colorfully captured on film by artist Alan Perry

South Gallery- Spring Featured Artists

Jerry Sievers - March & April
This amazing artist has photographed birds, dragonflies, turtles, flowers, beautiful woodlands, and prairies. Visitors will enjoy a series of photographs that capture nature in its finest form.

David Staff - May
Experience the artistry of David Staff's captivating photography in the natural world displaying flowers, birds, and mammals.


Holidays & Closings


Nature Center Closed:
Sunday, April 20, Easter

Offices Closed:
Friday, April 18
Monday, May 26


Volunteer

For more information, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator by calling 217-423-7708 or by sending an email to mccd@maconcountyconservation.com. Please visit our Volunteer page for more volunteering information.

We are currently seeking volunteers for:

  • Cross Country Ski Rental
  • Scout Program Assistance
  • Volunteer Naturalist-Hike Leader
  • Nature Center Greeter

Please visit our Volunteer page for more information on these opportunities and more!


Upcoming Volunteer Training Opportunities

Garlic Mustard Control
Rock Springs Center
Saturday, April 12, 9:00am-12:00pm
Volunteers are needed to help control garlic mustard in the woodlands at Rock Springs Conservation Area. Volunteers will uproot garlic mustard by hand and bag this invasive plant that inhibits the growth of native vegetation on the forest floor.

Work will be moderately strenuous, including stooping and pulling motions and moderate hiking over uneven terrain. No experience is necessary.This stewardship activity is great for families with kids.Dess for the weather, wear clothes for getting dirty and wear comfortable, sturdy shoes. Lunch will be provided. Reservations required by Wednesday, April 9.

To register, contact Rich Crowe at 217-423-6796 or email rcrowe@maconcountyconservation.com. This volunteer event is limited to 30 people. If you have a large group interested in volunteering with the District, please contact us and we will coordinate a fulfilling project for your group.


April

Special Events

Midnight Fishing
Meet at Information Shelter--Rock Springs Nature Center
Friday, April 11, 10:00pm-Midnight
Bring your equipment to Rock Springs’ Information Shelter for a unique chance to fish the Cattail Ponds at night. We recommend lit bobbers and worms for bait. Fishing licenses are required for those ages 16 and up. Fee is $5/person. Reservations required by April 10.

Sangamon River Cleanup
Saturday, April 26, Registration 8 - 8:30am, Cleanup 9am – Noon
Help make the river a safer and more beautiful place for people and wildlife alike. Dress to get dirty! Bring your own gloves, if you have them, as only a limited number will be available. We will provide bags. Each person helping receives a coupon for free lunch at the Festival of Spring event later that day! Come by yourself or with your whole family. Organized groups must pre-register by calling 217-432-7708. For ages 10 and up. Sponsored by Macon County Conservation District and the Community Environmental Council.

Festival of Spring
Rock Springs Nature Center
Saturday, April 26, 10am – 4pm
Welcome the new spring with a day outdoors! Experience and enjoy the many activities we offer for the whole family including music, naturalist-led hikes, wagon rides, canoe rodeo, food, face painting, and vintage baseball games! For all ages.

Griswold Conservation Area Evening Campfire
Griswold Conservation Area
Saturday, April 19, 5 – 7pm
Hear stories, play games, and roast marshmallows at this unique Conservation Area. Travel back to another time listening to traditional Native American lore, and enjoy the heat and light from a blazing fire. For all ages. $2/person or $10/family. Reservations required by April 18.


Family Adventures

Preschool Peepers: Ants in the Pants
Rock Springs Nature Center
Saturday, April 12, 10:00 a.m.
Ever have an ant join your picnic uninvited? We will conduct an experiment to see what foods from your plate an ant prefers, make a craft, and read a storybook.For ages 3-5 with adult companion. Free. Reservations required by April 11.

Brownie Journey: WOW! Wonders of Water
Rock Springs Nature Center
Tuesday, April 15, 6-8pm
On this Journey, Brownies learn how to protect the waters of our Earth. Hike to a pond and sample it for life with nets, talk to an aquatic ecologist, and complete a project that protects the watershed. Fee is $9/scout. Reservations required by April 14.

Family Fun: Butterflies Flutter By
Rock Springs Nature Center
Saturday, April 19, 1:30pm
Ever consider the crazy colors on the wings of a butterfly?We’ll examine their designs, then walk out to the prairie to catch a glimpse of them fluttering by! For all ages. Free. Reservations required by April 18.

Hands On Nature

Rock Hounds at Griswold Conservation Area
Griswold Conservation Area
Saturday, April 12, 1:00-4:00pm
Bring your trowel or rock hammer to unearth some prehistoric fossils or other rock forms from a glacial ka me. This very unique opportunity comes around very rarely. We will search for and identify some animals that survived in Illinois millions of years ago. No specimens may be removed from the site. For ages 6 and up. Fee is $5/person. Reservations required by April 11.

Hikes and Walks

Friends Creek Conservation Area Night Hike
Friends Creek Conservation Area
Saturday, April 26 , 9 – 11pm
Venture into the darkness at this remote Conservation Area. Experiment with your five senses and see how they can play tricks with your mind. These hikes are highly recommended for all outdoor adventurers. For all ages. Fee is $3/person or $10/family maximum. Reservations required by April 24.
>> Read more

Spring Woodland Wildflower Hike
Rock Springs Nature Center
Sunday, April 27, 2pm
Springtime flowers abound under the woodland canopy. See the spring beauties, bluebells, violets, jack-in-the-pulpit, Dutchman’s breeches,and others sprouting up beneath our trees! For all ages. Free. Reservations required by April 25.

 


May

Special Events

Canoe the Sangamon
Rock Springs Nature Center
Saturday, May 31, 5 – 8pm
Lake Decatur drains into the beautiful waterways of Illinois via the Sangamon River. Paddle a canoe along this winding river on a surprisingly beautiful three-hour trip. All equipment provided. Put one person or up to 2 adults and 2 kids in a canoe. For all ages. $20/canoe. Reservations required by May 21.

Feed the Animals
Rock Springs Nature Center
Sunday, May 18, 2 pm
Frogs, salamanders, and fish have to eat just like we do, but they have different definitions of what is “delicious”. Assist a naturalist in feeding our animals their favorite foods for their late lunch. For all ages. Free. Reservations required by May 16.
>> Read more about this event and register here.

Friends Creek Conservation Area Evening Campfire
Friends Creek Conservation Area
Saturday, May 24, 5 – 7pm
Hear stories, play games, and roast marshmallows at this unique Conservation Area. Travel back to another time listening to traditional Native American lore, and enjoy the heat and light from a blazing fire. For all ages. $2/person or $10/family. Reservations required by May 23.

Family Adventures

Preschool Peepers: Ribbits & Hops
Rock Springs Nature Center
Saturday, May 10, 10am
Come ponder what life must be like for a frog in a pond, or imagine what it’s like to dig yourself underground like a toad. Study the life of our local amphibians and visit their homes! For ages 3-5 with adult companion. Free. Reservations required by May 9.

Junior Girl Scout Journey: Get Moving
Rock Springs Nature Center
Tuesday, May 20, 6-8pm
On this Journey, Junior Girl Scouts learn about various forms of energy and find out what it means to be energy efficient. Take a nature walk and discuss how animals use and preserve energy in their habitats. Look at ways to recycle energy and reuse materials in your home. Afterwards, create posters with energy saving tips to display in the Nature Center. Fee is $9/scout. Reservations required by May 19.

Hands On Nature

Rock Hounds at Griswold Conservation Area
Griswold Conservation Area
Saturday, May 10, 1 – 4pm
Bring your trowel or rock hammer to unearth some prehistoric fossils or other rock forms from a glacial kame. This very unique opportunity comes around very rarely. Search for and identify some animals that survived in Illinois millions of years ago. No specimens may be removed from the site. For ages 6 and up. Fee is $5/person. Reservations required by May 9.

Hikes and Walks

Spring Wildflower Hike and Photo Show
Rock Springs Nature Center
Sunday, May 4, 2pm
Photographer Jerry Sievers will display some of his photos and lead a hike to help visitors spot the beauty he captures on film in real life. This is the last of three sessions led by this talented artist. During each session someone will have the opportunity to win a wildflower print to take home! For all ages. Free. Reservations required by May 2.

Family Fun: Untraveled Trails
Rock Springs Nature Center
Saturday, May 17, 1:30pm
Discover the forest with a naturalist, as we immerse ourselves in the bounty of nature off the beaten path.For all ages. Free. Reservations required by May 16.

Birds of a Feather Hike
Rock Springs Nature Center
Saturday, May 24, 2pm
Join a staff member at the Window on Wildlife to listen to the birds chirp and watch them chow down on their favorite seeds. Then go out to the trails with open eyes and ears, for a bird watching hike. For all ages. Free. Reservations required by May 23.

Tracking Tracks Hike
Rock Springs Nature Center
Sunday, May 25, 2pm
We will head to the pond and maybe even the wetland to see whose tracks were left behind as they squished along the water’s edge.For all ages. Free. Reservations required by May 23.

Ft. Daniel Conservation Area Night Hike
Ft. Daniel Conservation Area
Friday, May 30, 9 – 11pm
Venture into the darkness at this remote conservation area. Experiment with your five senses and see how they can play tricks with your mind. This hike is highly recommended for all outdoor adventurers. For all ages. Fee is $3/person or $10/family maximum. Reservations required by May 29.


Today's Sunrise Sunset in Decatur, IL:
    Sunrise is at: 7:42 AM
    Sunset is at: 5:38 PM

What can you do at the Nature Center?

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
mccd@maconcountyconservation.com

This web site, web content and all related graphics © 2005 - 2014 by Macon County Conservation District, Macon County, Decatur, Illinois. All rights reserved.

Web Site designed & hosted by Kestrel Website Design

Go to MCCD Webmail

The Prairie Islander

Click for Printable Educator's Guide