Get Outdoors and other things to do in Illinois

Highlighting Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) programs and events for the month of June

Get Outdoors: June is “Leave No Child Inside Month” in Illinois and the IDNR encourages youth and families to get outdoors. Illinois state parks and educational programs offer exciting and unique opportunities that will connect people with nature and the outdoors. For information on youth and family activities, check this link on the IDNR website: www.dnr.state.il.us/LNCI.

Free Fishing Days: The 2010 Illinois Free Fishing Days are scheduled for June 11-14. During Illinois Free Fishing Days, anyone may fish without the need to have a sport fishing license, inland trout stamp or salmon stamp.

Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair:
Families are invited to the 19th annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair on Sat., June 12 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton. Fishing poles, bait and supplies are provided during the free event, with information stations, educational activities, music and entertainment. The event is hosted by the IDNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, phone 618-786-3323, ext. 1.

Super Saturday: The June 12 Super Saturday at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield will be “Outside at the Museum” from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. In celebration of “Leave No Child Inside Month,” the event will feature outside activities. Children will use chalk to create a massive work of art on the museum’s sidewalk, search for wildlife on the museum’s grounds and learn an easy way to tell which way the wind blows. Children can also have their picture drawn by a local caricature artist. The program is designed especially for children 4-8 years old and is free and open to the public. The museum is located at 502 S. Spring St. (the corner of Spring and Edwards Streets) in Springfield. For more information, phone 217-782-6044.

OutdoorIllinois: Illinois’ first nesting colony of white pelicans is celebrated on the cover and in a feature story in the June 2010 issue of OutdoorIllinois magazine, the official publication of the IDNR. Also in the issue are a series of stories supporting June as “Leave No Child Inside Month”: identifying water critters during a stream hike, the Fishin’ Buddies, Inc. Youth Conservation Conference, inner-city programs at Eden Place Nature Center and celebration of Illinois’ agricultural heritage through the Illinois State Museum’s Audio-Video Barn Web site (http://avbarn.museum.state.il.us). Readers anxious for the summer picnic and camping season will savor four delectable, award-wining Dutch oven recipes.
For a summary of feature magazine articles listen in on monthly podcasts at www.dnr.state.il.us/OI. OutdoorIllinois is a great tool for learning about Illinois' natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at only $15 for a one-year, 12-issue magazine subscription that includes an information-packed annual calendar in the December issue. Visit www.dnr.state.il.us/OI or call 1-800-720-3249 to subscribe. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. For information on advertising in OutdoorIllinois, call 217-/785-8610 or e-mail michelle.silver@illinois.gov.

Give Us Your Best Shot: The 11th annual OutdoorIllinois photo contest is now open for entries. All winning images will be published in the February 2011 issue of OutdoorIllinois - the sixth annual photographic issue. The photo contest is open to all Illinois residents, and entries are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 6. Among the items the “Best of Show” winner will receive are a weekday, one-night lodging and breakfast for two package for Rend Lake Resort and Lodge and two tickets to the 2011 Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame banquet, where the recipient will be honored and the winning photograph displayed. First-, second- and third-place winners will receive three-year, two-year and one-year subscriptions, respectively, to OutdoorIllinois and the opportunity to have their winning photos published in the February 2011 issue. Contest guidelines are also available at www.dnr.state.il.us/photos or call 217-785-0975.