The Vermilion County Conservation District provides conservation education to the citizens of Vermilion County and surrounding counties of Illinois and Indiana. Connecting people of all age levels to their natural world through high quality education programs has been a major goal of the District. Conservation education raises awareness of issues impacting the environment upon which we all depend, as well as actions we can take to improve and sustain it.
Listed below are a few of the conservation education programs offered by the VCCD. Programming changes seasonally and from year to year.
- Outdoor School Program – This four-day program was created in 1971 is still going strong at Forest Glen and Kennekuk. 4th or 5th grade students learn about local flora and fauna through hikes, explorations, and habitat studies in the forest, aquatic habitats, and prairies. Each student receives an Outdoor School workbook that is funded by donations from the Vermilion County Pheasants Forever Chapter, Middlefork Audubon Society, and the Vermilion County Conservation Foundation. Outdoor School is offered 8 weeks in the spring and 8 weeks in the fall.
- Traveling Naturalist Program – The education staff present programs in the classrooms of Vermilion County elementary schools beginning January through March.
- School Day Visits – Customized one-day field excursions for pre-K through high school students at any of the District parks.
- Summer Camp Programs – Through the summer, the education staff offer a wide variety of camps for children of all ages. Camps vary from year to year and pre-registration and fees are required. For a current list of summer camp programs, visit the District’s Calendar of events.
- Speakers Bureau – VCCD staff members are available to organized groups or schools for speaking engagements on a variety of topics.
- Special Events – Throughout the year, VCCD staff offer public events such as guided interpretive hikes, workshops, astronomy programs, and living history programs such as Pioneer Craft Day, Revolutionary War Reenactment, Civil War School Day Program, Maple Syrup Open House. These public events vary from year to year; for a current lsit and more information, visit the District’s calendar of events.