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Mission Statement
We conserve, preserve and restore natural areas,
We provide cultural, historical and environmental opportunities,
We provide compatible outdoor recreation experiences.

Phone: (217) 586-3360 | Fax: (217) 586-5724 | Email:

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(217) 586-3360

Summer Day Camps
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EXHIBIT OPENING:  Hidden Underfoot:  Historical Archaeology in Illinois
Sunday, April 19
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 1 – 3  p.m.
In collaboration with the Illinois State Archaeology Survey, the Museum of the Grand Prairie’s special exhibit for 2015 features six historical archaeology sites including two in Champaign County, the Nine-Gal Tavern and the Brownfield Blacksmith Site. We’ll explore history through dioramas featuring the reconstructions of four excavated structures: a pottery, a brewery, a tavern and a home. To open this exhibit we’ll have a special lecture at 2 p.m. from Illinois State Archaeological Survey historical archaeologist Mark Branstner. Join us for a reception to open our newest exhibit!  Refreshments will be served. Free. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or

Archaeology Lecture Series
Sunday, April 19
Museum Education Center, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 2 – 3 p.m.
Presenter: Mark Branstner, Illinois State Archaeological Survey
Historical occupation of Illinois dates back more than 300 years. Residents included Native Americans, French trappers and traders, and American settlers. Because so much of Illinois is rural and agricultural, much of Illinois’ archaeological treasure has been preserved. Thousands of archaeological sites sometimes complement, sometimes conflict with, and often complete the historical record. This lecture will trace the development of the discipline of historical archaeology in Illinois from its beginnings to today. Free. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or

Invasive Investigators
Saturday, April 25
Homer Lake Interpretive Center, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Did you know that May is Invasive Species Awareness Month? With May right around the corner, now is the time to investigate species like garlic mustard, zebra mussels, and Osage orange. We’ll discuss how invasive species were introduced to this area and what efforts have been made to limit their spread. You’ll leave this program with plenty of knowledge and ideas on how you can help get rid of invasive species! Free. For info: (217) 896-2455 or

Illinois Riverwatch Full Workshop
Saturday, April 18

Izaak Walton Cabin, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 9 a.m. –  4 p.m.
Want to get involved in the stewardship of the state’s rivers and streams? Grab your rubber boots and join the Illinois RiverWatch Program. During this interactive workshop, we will learn to identify stream macro-invertebrates and practice proper monitoring techniques at a local stream. Equipment will be provided. Please bring knee-high boots or waders, sun block, insect repellent, a water bottle and lunch. After completing the workshop, you may adopt a local stream site and monitor annually. Minors are welcome to attend at no cost as long as they are accompanied by an adult. To register, contact the RiverWatch Office at (618) 468-2784. $50 per person; must be paid in advance. For more info: (217) 896-2455 or, or visit to learn more about RiverWatch.

Lake of the Woods Golf Course is Open!
Play Better Golf, Enjoy Better Service

Lake of the Woods Golf Course is now open for the 2015 season! We offer lots to choose from: play 18-holes, 9-hole Par 3, Footgolf and Simulator play until March 31!