Events & Activities

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, events and programs are may be canceled in order to help protect public health. While we encourage you to continue enjoying the Cache, please make sure you Recreate Responsibly! Remember to socially distance yourself from others, wear a face covering when distancing isn't available, practice proper hygiene and stay home if you are sick. Please monitor for local public health advisories, orders and closures as they may occur.

Every year since 1989, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has sponsored the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, and the results for Illinois are in.  

2021 Best of Show for Illinois is a black-bellied whistling duck in acrylic paint by Naransolongo Batgerel of Naperville, Illinois. The display of winning art of each age category, K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, in a variety of mediums may be seen at Cache River State Natural Area, Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress, Illinois until June 30, 2021.  



The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic art- and science-based curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program encourages students to explore their natural world, invites them to investigate biology and wildlife management principles and challenges them to express and share what they have learned with others.

By 2000, the program included all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. The program encourages partnerships among federal and state government agencies, nongovernment organizations, businesses, and volunteers to help recognize and honor thousands of teachers and students throughout the United States for their participation in conservation-related activities.

What is a Junior Duck Stamp?
The Junior Duck Stamp is a pictorial stamp produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to recognize the conservation efforts of young people and support environmental and conservation education programs in the United States. The art competition is the culmination of students' study of waterfowl and wetlands conservation in the classroom, homeschool, or non-formal education setting, often using the Junior Duck Stamp Program educational curriculum.