Macon County Conservation District Explore the Outdoors
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Nature Programs for Educators & Teachers

These programs include an indoor presentation and hike. All programs are 1.5 to 2 hours in length. Grades 4 through 6. Programs can be adapted for other grade levels.

Meet the Creepy Crawlies
Invertebrates, emphasizing insects
SLS: 12B, 2a, 2b

Mother Nature's Neighborhood
Ecology and natural communities
SLS: 12B, 2a, 2b,12E, 2c

Big Green Machine
Green plants, emphasizing seeds
SLS: 12A, 2a, 12B, 2a, 2b

A Skeleton in Their Closet
Vertebrates, emphasizing mammals
SLS: 12A, 2a 12B, 2a, 2b

Ponds and Wetlands
Discover the importance of wetlands through demonstrations and hands on activities. We will hike to a pond and a wetland, collect some critters and examine them back in the lab.
Who: 3rd through 8th grade
Time: 2 hours
SLS: 12A, 2a, 12B, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 13b, 2e, 2f, 3e, 16E, 2a(us), 3a(us), 3b(us), 3c(us), 17B, 2b, 3a, 3b, 17C, 2c

Animals in Winter
This program covers animal activity in winter and includes a presentation and hike to look for animal tracks and other evidence that not all animals hibernate all winter.
Adapted to appropriate age.
Who: P through 8th grade
Time: 45 min. – 1.5 hours
Fee: Contingent on type of activity and length of program
SLS: 1BECb, 1CECb, 8AEC, 12AECa, 12BEC, 12EECa, 12FEC, 11AKa & c, 11BKa, 12AKa & b, 12BK, 12CK, 12DK, 12EKa, 12FK, 13BKa, 12A, 1a, 1b, 12B, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b

Holidays for the Birds
Children will learn about birds at our “Window on Wildlife” and make pine cone bird feeders to hang on the trees and shrubs around the Nature Center, or to take back to their school.
Who: P through 2nd grade
Time: 45 min.
SLS: 1CECb, 4AEC, 12AECa, 12BEC, 12EECa, 12FEC, 12AKa and b, 12BK, 12CK, 12EKa, 12FK

Birds of a Feather
Have fun on this interactive field trip. Take a bird nest quiz, do a beak adaptation activity and/or use our binoculars on a bird hike.
Who: 3rd through 8th grade
Time: 1 – 2 hours
SLS: 12B, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 13B, 2e, 2f, 3e

Field Classes and Outdoor School
Let us work with you to provide a program tailored to your needs.
Who: 7th through 12th grade
Time: TBD
Fee: Contingent on type of activity and length of program
SLS: Determined by subject(s)

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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Click for Printable Educator's Guide