Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph and Williamson Counties

Jackson County
402 Ava Rd.
Murphysboro, IL 62966
Phone: 618-687-1727
FAX: 618-687-1612
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Franklin County
1212 Route 14 West
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: 618-439-3178
FAX: 618-439-2953
Hours: M–F, 8:00 am-4:30 pm (closed 12:00 - 1:00 pm)

Perry County
3764 State Rte 13/127
Room 110
Pinckneyville, IL 62274
Phone: 618-357-2126
FAX: 618-357-3934
Hours: Mon - Wed, 8:00 am-4:30 pm (closed 12:00 - 1pm)

Randolph County
313 West Belmont Street
Sparta, IL 62286
Phone: 618-443-4364
FAX: 618-443-1922
Hours: M–Th, 8:00 am-4:30 pm (closed 12:00 - 1:00 pm)

Williamson County
101-B East DeYoung
Marion, IL 62959
Phone: 618-993-3304
FAX: 618-997-1542
Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 am-4:30 pm (closed 12:00 - 1pm)

Upcoming Events

Kids in the Woods: A Family Naturalist Program - Giant City State Park

June 10 - December 9, 2017

1:00-3:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month (except October's workshop will be 6-8p.m.)

Kids in the Woods is a program developed by southern Illinois Master Naturalists for families with children from age 5-10 (but younger or older children can certainly attend as part of a family group!)

To ensure we have ample supplies for everyone, please call the Visitor Center you plan to attend to register.

Sponsored by the Friends of Giant City State Park, the Friends of the Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center, the University of Illinois Extension, the Friends of the Southern Illinois Master Naturalist Association, and a mini-grant from the Environmental Education Association of Illinois.

Giant City State Park (618-457-4836)

June 10 - Woodsey Wonders - This month is all about trees! What kind of trees live in the park? Are they the same as those that live at your house or school? What kind of animals live in the trees and how do they use them to survive? What about bugs? Why are there more bugs out in the spring and summer? We'll make leaf prints and other twiggy projects. Meet at Shelter 1.

July 8 - Flying Rainbows - How much time can you spend outside in July? What's a butterfly? What's a moth? How does your garden grow? Go on a hayride to see what kind of native plants are growing and why might they be good for the butterflies and bugs and other animals living by the garden? Who lives in the soil and eats your garden plants? What about those weeds? What is a weed anyway? Drawing, bug you see the rainbow? Meet at the Group Campground.

August 12 - What's an Eclipse Anyway? - On August 21, 2017, the first total solar eclipse in this area visible in 99 years will appear over southern Illinois skies beginning at 1:21 p.m. Why is this important? What will you see? What are astronomers looking for? Scientists from NASA will be in the park collecting data about the sun from the ground. Instruments on boad satellites will also be measuring data and sending it to the ground for scientists to analyze. What kind of science do we already know about eclipses? What do scientists hope to learn from this one? How can you help them? What can you expect on the BIG DAY? Meet at the Visitor Center.

September 9 - Water, Water, Everywhere - What's a water shed and what can we do with one? Is that where people store water? Where does the water go when it rains? Who lives in the water? How many different critters can we find? How do you use water? We'll learn about some of the water in the park and talk about other water you might find in the area.  Fish prints!! Meet at the Group Campground.

October 14 - (Meets 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.) - Creatures of the Night - Tonight we'll meet some live nighttime creatures and learn why they like the night.  We'll go on a hike, see if owls answer our call and look for glow worms.  Then back to the campfire for a marshmallow roast and a few ghost stories! Meet at Shelter 5.

November 11 - Rock Hound or Pebble Pup? - How did the big rocks and cliff at Giant City State Park form? How long did it take? Can you find fossils? What's the difference between a mineral and just a plain old rock? Meet at the Visitor Center.

December 9 - Winder Wonderland - In December we will be making something to celebrate winter and will go on a bird hike and learn about the birds we have here in the winter.  We will discover where woodland animals go in the winter and how they survive.  Is it time to hibernate? Who wants to sleep in the winter? Meet at Shelter #2. We'll have the fires burning and maybe a pot of something good to eat will be cooking there.