The Emiquon Partnership – Dickson Mounds Museum, The Nature Conservancy, UIS Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, and the Illinois Natural History Survey – will be hosting Mother Earth Day on Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Activities will take place at Dickson Mounds Museum and The Nature Conservancy’s Lakeside and Wetland Visitor Use Observatories at the Emiquon Preserve. Visitors at Dickson Mounds will participate in kite flying, create art with recycled materials, and embark on a scavenger hunt. Guide books, binoculars, magnifying glasses, and other accessories will be available for check-out at no cost for individual visitors or groups to explore nature on the Museum’s grounds.
The Nature Conservancy will offer Lakeside Observatory walk and talk presentation from 1:15-1:45 and Wetland Observatory walk and talk presentations will be held from 2:15-2:45 at the Emiquon Preserves. Illinois Natural History Survey’s Aquatic Ecologist and Emiquon Project Coordinator T.D. Van Middlesworth will have live and preserved fish specimens, nets, and an electrofishing boat on display and will discuss recent research findings. Representatives from the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Therkildsen Field Station will also present hands-on scientific demonstrations at the lakeside.
Event participants are also encouraged to visit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Chautauqua and Emiquon National Wildlife Refuges for some fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. Chautauqua and Emiquon National Wildlife Refuges are currently drawing down water levels to provide habitat for northward migrating shorebirds. The North Pool at Chautauqua can be accessed at the Eagle Bluff public use site. Visitors can only go out to the pump station due to osprey nesting on that side of the North Pool. At Emiquon, both the South Globe and Wilder tracts are reached by Highway 78/97 and should have shorebird viewing opportunities. Black-necked stilts have already been observed on the South Globe unit. Some waterfowl such as northern shoveler, green-winged teal, bufflehead, and other species may still be around at that time.
This event is open to the public and for all ages. Admission is free. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the outdoors. Bathrooms are located at Dickson Mounds Museum.
The Emiquon Partnership consists of Dickson Mounds Museum, The Nature Conservancy, UIS Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, and the Illinois Natural History Survey (Forbes and Illinois River Biological Stations) working together to provide research, information, and educational opportunities on the restoration of the Emiquon Nature Preserve and Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge. Visit http://experienceemiquon.com/ for more information.