Events & Activities

Calling All Owls

Friday, February 28, 2020, 6:00 p.m.

Location:  Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center 


Swoop on in to learn all about the owls of southern Illinois, then head out into the cool dark night to listen for the familiar calls. After the indoor program at 6 pm, natural heritage biologist Mark Guetersloh will lead a guided owl prowl.


If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064. 

Nature Movie Topic: Manatee

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Matinee – 2-3:00 p.m., evening 6-7:00 p.m.

Location: Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center


In the Cache River watershed are remnants of once great acreage of southern swamp, wetland habitat reminiscent of Louisiana’s in many ways. This nature movie will explore the natural history of manatees which are not found in southern Illinois    swamp/wetland habitats.


If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064. 

Butterflies and the Plants They Need

Saturday, March 14, 1 p.m

Location: Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center


Metropolis Garden Club President and Master Naturalist Anne Parmley will show several common southern Illinois butterfly pictures taken by amateur photographer William Parmley. She will also talk about necessary larval food plants as well as preferred nectar plants.


If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064. 

Sunday Story Hour: Frogs and Toads

Sunday, March 22, 2020, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Location: Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center


Sunday Story Hour will run on the second to last Sunday of each month. This free program engages families with children ages 3-8, in which a naturalist reads a nature themed storybook to children. Each story will be paired with a game, hands-on activity, or outside nature walk. This month’s program features some hoppy anurans, frog/toads. 


 Please pre-register with the Cache River Wetlands Center at (618) 657-2064, for an activity to be prepared for each child.

Guided Hike at Cedar Bluff

Sunday, April 5, 1-4pm

Location: Ferne Clyffe State Park/Cedar Bluff


Enjoy a spring walk at Cedar Bluff Natural Area, an annex of Ferne Clyffe State Park, utilizing the Cedar Bluff Trail and Borks Fall Trail. Be rewarded with 50-foot bluffs, overhangs, a shelter cave and dramatic views of the early spring landscape. Meet at parking lot for climbers next to Cedar Grove Church, south end of Happy Hollow Road, Johnson County. 

                                                                

                                                                          For directions or questions, please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064.

Nature Movie: Flamingo

Thursday, April 9, 2-3pm and 6-7pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


You’re unlikely to find these vibrantly-colored wading birds in the Cache but come and learn more about the natural history of a popular wetland inhabitant, flamingos.


If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064.

Senior Van Tour on Tunnel Hill State Trail

Friday, April 10, various departure times

Location: Tunnel Hill State Trail Parking Lot, Tunnel Hill, IL


Come along on a guided van tour for senior citizens and persons with physical limitations to explore a section of the Tunnel Hill State Trail between Tunnel Hill and New Burnside. Share stories about local history and enjoy the animals and spring wildflowers along the trail. 


For departure times and required reservation, please call 618-657-2064.

Sunday Story Hour: Wild Turkey

Sunday, April 19, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


Please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064, so we can prepare activities for each child.

Friends of the Cache
Annual Moonlight Paddle
May 6, 2020; 7:30-10 pm
Location: Cache River State Natural Area, Lower Cache Access

Experience the magic of nighttime in the Cache on a moonlight canoe tour of Buttonland Swamp, led by Tony Gerard. Please note this limited-seating event is reserved for current Friends of Cache members and their guests – new members welcome!  

To become a member, or to renew your membership, go to https://www.friendsofthecache.org/join

                                                                             Registration opens April 6; call Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge at 618-634-                                                                               2231.

Shawnee National Forest Turns 80

Saturday, May 16, 10:00 a.m.-12 p.m.

Location: Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center


This year the Shawnee National Forest turned 80 years old! Head over to the Cache River Wetlands Center to learn about the early history of the Shawnee National Forest from United States Forest Service archaeologist Mary McCorvie. There will be a showing of The Land Changes, a 1957 film about the forest’s creation. Come celebrate with us.


If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064.


Sunday Story Hour: Wildflowers

Sunday, May 24, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


Please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064, so we can prepare activities for each child.

New Firefly Species in the Cache

Friday, May 29, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Location:  Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center


The Cypress firefly (Photuris walldoxeyi), named for Mississippi’s Wall Doxey State Park, was first documented early in 2019 in high quality cypress swamps in Mississippi, Tennessee and Indiana. IDNR natural heritage biologist Christina Feng reports a confirmed sighting of the cypress firefly during a night-time survey at the Heron Pond boardwalk in June. Join Christina Feng as she presents information  on natural history of fireflies found in Illinois then will lead an optional night walk to Heron Pond boardwalk in the Little                                                                                                                     Black Slough/Heron Pond Nature Preserve to hopefully observe the cypress                                                                                           firefly. 


                                                                                     If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064. 

Come Fish With Us Clinics

Thursdays, June 4, 11, 18 and 25, 9-11am

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center

Youth catch-and-release fishing clinic will cover fishing rules and regulations; how to bait a hook, tie a knot and cast; tactics for catching fish; and how to handle and return fish to the water. Clinics target children ages 16 and younger, but anyone interested in learning basic fishing techniques may attend. Equipment and bait supplied by IDNR. Adults are not required to have a fishing license to assist during this program. 


Please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064.

Exploring Cave Creek Glade

Saturday, June 6, 10am-noon

Location: Cache River State Natural Area/Cave Creek Glade


Join botanist Erin Garrett for a hike at Cave Creek Glade, where you’ll learn how to identify blooming plants by their flowers and later season bloomers by their leaves. The trail is short, but very steep, with a spectacular display of purple coneflowers at the top of the glade. 


Meet at parking lot opposite glade; for directions, call 618-657-2064.

Introduction to Orienteering

Saturday, June 13, 1-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


This workshop will introduce children and adults to basic orienteering concepts: how to use a compass, measure distances with paces and traverse an orienteering course. Participants will be provided with the use of a compass and a course map, and will practice new-found skills along a predetermined course.


If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064.

Sunday Story Hour: Fish

Sunday, June 21, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


To help ensure activities are prepared for each child, please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064

Come Fish With Us Clinics

Thursdays, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 9-11am

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


Youth catch-and-release fishing clinic will cover fishing rules and regulations; how to bait a hook, tie a knot and cast; tactics for catching fish; and how to handle and return fish to the water. Clinics target children ages 16 and younger, but anyone interested in learning basic fishing techniques may attend. Equipment and bait supplied by IDNR. Adults are not required to have a fishing license to assist during this program. 


Please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064.

Planting for Pollinators

Saturday, July 18, 10am-noon

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


Have you heard the buzz about pollinators? Join botanist Erin Garrett as she discusses common pollinators in southern Illinois and simple changes you can make in your home landscape to help support their populations. Learn how to choose the right native plants for your garden, and which insects rely on which plants.


If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064. 


Sunday Story Hour: White Tail Deer

Sunday, July 19, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


To help ensure activities are prepared for each child, please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064.

Reptiles in the Neighborhood

Saturday, August 22, 1-4 pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center/Heron Pond


Join Tony Gerard for an up-close look at snakes, skinks, and turtles of southern Illinois. The program concludes with an optional hike to Heron Pond Nature Preserve to look for cold-blooded creatures of the Cache. 
Photo of a common five-lined skink courtesy of Tony Gerard. 

 If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064.

Sunday Story Hour: Dragonfly

Sunday, August 23, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


To help ensure activities are prepared for each child, please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064.

Sunday Story Hour: Butterfly

Sunday, September 20, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


To help ensure activities are prepared for each child, please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064.

Monarch Phenomenon

Saturday, September 19, 10 a.m. – 1:p.m.

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 at 10:00 a.m. to learn natural history of monarchs, and then spend the rest of the day capturing, tagging monarchs, and releasing butterflies.


                                                                                If you have any questions please call the wetlands center at 618-657-2064.


Fall Migration Mini-Sit

Late Sept or early Oct, TBD, 9am-noon

Location: Cache River State Natural Area

The objective of this birdwatching event is to record as many bird species as possible in the Cache over a three-hour period. Teams will sit in an assigned 17-foot diameter circle and record on eBird all species they can identify by sight or sound. Birders at all levels are welcome; no limit on team numbers, and members may work in  shifts as long as there is always someone in the circle. If you don’t have a team but want to participate, feel free to drop by the Wetlands Center that day to learn which access points are open for counts. Bring a lawn chair, snacks, binoculars or a scope, and sit back and enjoy the fall migration!


Teams must register in advance to receive their location: please call 618-657-2064

Sunday Story Hour: Snake

Sunday, October 18, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


To help ensure activities are prepared for each child, please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064.

Guided Hike at Cedar Bluff

Saturday, October 24, noon-3pm

Location: Ferne Clyffe State Park/Cedar Bluff

Enjoy a fall walk at Cedar Bluff Natural Area, an annex of Ferne Clyffe State Park, utilizing the Cedar Bluff Trail and Borks Fall Trail. Be rewarded with 50-foot bluffs, overhangs, a shelter cave and dramatic views of fall color. Meet at parking lot for climbers next to Cedar Grove Church, south end of Happy Hollow Road, Johnson County. 


For directions, please call the wetland center at 618-657-2064.

Senior Van Tour on Tunnel Hill State Trail

Thursday, October 29, various departure times

Location: Tunnel Hill State Trail Headquarters, Vienna, IL


Come along on a guided van tour for senior citizens and persons with physical limitations to explore a section of the Tunnel Hill State Trail between Vienna and Tunnel Hill. Share stories about local history and enjoy the plants, animals, hydrology and fall color along this upland section of the trail. 


For departure times and required reservation, call 618-657-2064.

Boo at the Slough

Saturday, October 31, 1-3:30pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


This program engages elementary to middle school age children on a guided trick-or-treat adventure through the Wetlands Center and along the Egret Slough Trail. The half-mile trail will give families a chance to interact with misunderstood creatures of the swamp and enjoy the magic of Halloween. Children are welcome to wear costumes. 


To pre-register, please call the wetland center at 618-657-2064.

Sunday Story Hour: Owl

Sunday, November 22, 2-3pm

Location: Cache River Wetlands Center


To help ensure activities are prepared for each child, please pre-register by calling 618-657-2064.

Christmas Bird Count

Monday, December 14, 6am-5pm

Location: Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge


Put your citizen science skills to work in service of the longest-running database in all of ornithology. Bird watchers at all levels, including beginners, are welcome to participate in the all-day count will be held on Monday. This early winter bird census is conducted at local sites all over North America, and has provided crucial data for more than a century, helping scientists track and monitor the health of bird populations. 


                                                                                     For more information, please call Cypress Creek at 618-634-2231.