Events & Activities

Bats of Illinois

Saturday, August 4, 6:30-8:30pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

Illinois is home to at least 12 species of bats. Karen Mangan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will highlight the life of these bats, how common they are, their importance to humans and the environment, and methods used to research and monitor their activity. Indoor program from 6:30-7:30pm is followed by an optional field trip to experience bats’ evening emergence. 


Questions, call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Ducks, Ducks, Ducks

Saturday, August 11, 1pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

District wildlife biologist Adam Phillips will discuss some of the natural habits and habitats of the great variety of waterfowl that might visit southern Illinois this winter. The program will also include a waterfowl banding demonstration. 


Questions, call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Reptiles in the Neighborhood

Saturday, August 25, 1-4pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center/Heron Pond Trail

How familiar are you with the common reptiles of southern Illinois? Can you tell a venomous snake from a non-venomous one? Do you know which skink has a blue-tipped tail, or why some male turtles have longer nails? Join Tony Gerard for an up close and personal interaction with reptiles and amphibians native to southernmost Illinois. The one-hour indoor program concludes with an optional hike to look for cold-blooded creatures at Heron Pond. 


Questions, call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Cache Annual Meeting

Thursday, August 30, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Location: Carbondale Civic Center, 200 South Illinois Ave. Carbondale, IL

Refreshments, door prizes and Cache merchandise, the first-ever "Cache
Champions" Award -- and, in honor of our state's bicentennial, a
special living history program by local history expert and reenactor,
Tony Gerard. Check out the passage below for more information on this exciting presentation. Come one, come all!


Jean Baptiste Le Kaskskia has lived through a lot of changes. During his lifetime, Illinois was captured away from the British and the United States came into existence. Lewis and Clark journeyed to the Pacific Ocean and returned. Tecumseh united the Native tribes against white colonial encroachment and was ultimately defeated, and the region was rocked by the greatest series of earthquakes in history. The U.S. established its independence from Great Britain a second time -- and, now, in August of 1818, Illinois is on the verge of statehood. Jean has been a market hunter, trapper, trader with the Indians, and a scout and interpreter for the army. Join us as this old frontiersman reminisces about his life in the Illinois country.


Please RSVP to Paula Havlik at [email protected] or call 217-649-4326 

Nature Fest at Cache River Days

Saturday, September 8, 9am - 4pm

Location: Ball Park, Ullin, IL

A full day of fun, free activities focused on the plants and animals
of the Cache River and Cypress Creek watersheds. Canoe tours, guided
hikes, live wildlife exhibits, nature activities and crafts, Asian
carp fry and much more!


Limited space on tours, please register in advance by calling Cypress Creek at 618-634-2231.

Monarch Phenomenon

Saturday, September 22, 10am-2pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

The magnificent monarch butterfly migrates up to 2,500 miles from North America to central Mexico for the winter. Monarch Watch Association has been tagging and monitoring migrating monarchs since 1992. Join us for a program from 10-11am to learn the monarch’s natural history, and then spend the rest of the day capturing, tagging and releasing butterflies. 


Questions, call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Guided Hike at Cedar Bluff

Saturday, October 20, noon-2pm

Location: Ferne Clyffe State Park, Cedar Bluff

Enjoy a fall hike at Cedar Bluff Natural Area, an annex of Ferne Clyffe State Park that features bluffs more than 50 feet tall, rocky overhangs, a shelter cave and dramatic views of southern Illinois’ fall colors from the crest of the bluff. 


For meeting place directions, call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Van Tour in Cache River Watershed

Friday, October 26, various departure times

Location: Tunnel Hill State Trail Headquarters, Vienna, Illinois

Come along on a guided van tour for senior citizens and persons with physical limitations to enjoy the wildlife, native plants and fall color and share stories about the history and hydrology of the Cache River Watershed. The tour will explore a section of the Tunnel Hill State Trail between Vienna and Tunnel Hill


For departure times and required reservation, call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Annual Christmas Bird Count

Monday, December 17, 6am-sunset

Location: Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

This annual all-day census of early winter bird populations has been conducted by thousands of volunteers throughout the U.S. for more than 100 years, resulting in the longest-running database in ornithology. The Audubon Society and other organizations use data collected in this census to assess the health of bird populations; so, by participating, you’ll be making a tangible contribution to bird conservation efforts. All ages and skill levels welcome. 


Questions, call Cypress Creek at 618-634-2231.