Events & Activities

Nature Cards

Saturday, May 27, 10am-12pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

Learn how to use flowers and other plant parts collected from trees, vines and other natural items to create personal notecards. Each participant will create two notecards and envelopes to take home; materials provided. 


Registration opens May 1; please register in advance by calling the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

The Great American Eclipse

Saturday, June 10, 10-11:30am

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

What is all the excitement about the total solar eclipse of August 21st? Craig Bradley, astronomy and computer science instructor at Shawnee Community College, will explain why this event is unique, what to expect, and what to do to thoroughly enjoy the experience. 


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

Kids in the Woods: Water, Water Everywhere

Saturday, June 24, 1-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

Program series by Southern Illinois Master Naturalists for families with children ages 5-10. This month, we will learn all about watersheds, water and the critters that live in it. 

Please register in advance by calling the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Bats of Illinois

Saturday, August 5, 6:30-8:30pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

Illinois is home to at least 12 species of bats. Learn where they live, 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.

View Total Solar Eclipse

Monday, August 21, 9am-4pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

The grounds of the Wetlands Center should be a great place to view the first total solar eclipse over the U.S. since 1979. The main parking lot and an overflow area will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis. 


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

Reptiles in the Neighborhood

Saturday, August 26, 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 the harmless ones? Do you know which skink has a blue-tipped tail, or how to recognize if a box turtle is male or female? 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 River Days

Saturday, September 9, all day

Location: Ball Park, Ullin, IL

This year, for the first time ever, NATURE FEST and CACHE RIVER DAYS will be joining forces! Festivities will be headquartered at the Ullin Ball Park, but will also include special displays at the Cache River Wetlands Center and guided tours at various points of interest throughout the Cache River Wetlands. Celebrate the Cache with live wildlife exhibits, nature activities, arts & crafts, live music, food and more. Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge will provide free canoe tours throughout the day. 

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

Kids in the Woods: Fur and Feathers

Saturday, September 16, 1-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

Program series by Southern Illinois Master Naturalists for families with children ages 5-10. This month, we will take a guided walk to learn about birds and animals, and create a leaf and twig collage or a bird nesting materials ball. 


Please register in advance by calling the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Monarch Phenomenon

Saturday, September 23, 10am-3pm

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 all about monarchs, and then spend the rest of the day capturing, tagging and releasing butterflies. Questions, call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Guided Walk to Heron Pond and Little Black Slough

Saturday, October 14, 9am-12pm

Location: Cache River State Natural Area

Enjoy a colorful fall hike along the Heron Pond and Little Black Slough trails, and learn more about the area’s history, flora and fauna. Meet at the Heron Pond Trail parking lot. 


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

Guided Van Tour on Tunnel Hill State Trail

Friday, October 27, four trips scheduled throughout the day

Location: Meet at Cache River Wetlands Center

Enjoy the fall foliage and learn more about the wildlife, history and hydrology of the Cache River Watershed on this guided van tour for senior citizens and persons with physical limitations. The tour will explore a section of the Tunnel Hill State Trail between Vienna and the Cache River Wetlands Center.
Limited seats; please register in advance by calling the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Winter Plant I.D.

Saturday, November 11, 1-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

Discover the beauty of the winter remains of summer-flowering plants and grasses, and learn how to identify them by their seedpods and silhouettes. 

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

Annual Christmas Bird Count

Monday, December 18, 6am-sunset

Location: Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

This annual all-day census of early winter bird populations has been conducted throughout the U.S. for more than 100 years, resulting in the longest-running database in ornithology. All ages and skill levels welcome. 

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