Shawnee National Forest, Touch of Nature Environmental Center

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Address: 1206 Touch of Nature Road
City, State, Zip: Makanda, Illinois 62958
Date(s):10/15/2017 - 10/21/2017
Access:Day Hiking Up to 2 Miles Per Day
Project Rating:Easy Moderate
Project Description:

The recently started trails initiative (Fall 2014) informed by the USFS’s Shawnee Volunteer Corps is rebuilding a new system of trails lost over the years to the forest. The initiative has become an environmental education program of its own through the integration of educational components during work sessions. It also has become a community building project for the center through the many campus and community organizations who volunteer. The trail initiative is an integral part of the renewal of the environmental center as a regional resource for connecting people to the land and promoting hiking and paddling for recreation and sustainable, healthy living. Work will include clearing trails of organic materials using Pulaskis, McLeods, shovels and rakes. Volunteers will work on creating a back-slope, tread and an out-slope.

This project is being hosted and crew lead by the Touch of Nature Center.

Hosting Organization:Touch of Nature Center
Area and Attractions:Southern Illinois Universities’ Touch of Nature Environmental Center sits on 3,100 acres of the unglaciated Shawnee Hills natural division of the Shawnee National Forest. The Eastern border of the facility is Little Grassy Lake, one of three lakes on Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. It shares it’s Southern and Western borders with Giant City State Park and Crab Orchard Wilderness Area which the trans-state River to River Trail traverses. A National Environmental Education Landmark (designated by NPS) and outdoor laboratory for the university “T.O.N.E.C.” has been serving a broad range of populations as a leader in the fields of environmental, therapeutic, outdoor, adventure, and challenge experiential education for 65 years. Southern Illinois is known for its lush hills, diverse ecosystems, sandstone cliffs and numerous lakes. Recreation opportunities include but are not limited to: hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, and camping.
Accommodations Description and Gear Needs:Volunteers will stay in rustic cabins holding 8-10 twin beds with access to exterior bath houses. Access to outdoor fire pit is available as well as cooking gear. Meals will either be catered or prepared for volunteers on site. Volunteers should bring their own linens (twin sized sheets or sleeping bag, pillow, and towel), cup/bowl/eating utensils, and personal items.
Climate:Climate in Southern Illinois in the Fall is cool but comfortable with temperatures ranging from the upper 60s to the mid 40s.
Travel Information:Airport pickup provided from Williamson County Regional Airport
Minimum Age:15
Maximum # of Volunteers:20
Number of Spots Available:9


Online bookings are closed for this event. Contact us at 800-972-8608 ext. 704 to see if registration for this event is still available.