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National Parks Screening Preview

The SIU Department of Forestry and WSIU will present a Preview Screening of Ken Burns documentary film series THE NATIONAL PARKS: America's Best Idea. Thursday, September 24th, 6:30-8:30 pm in the Browne Auditorium, Parkinson Laboratory Hall Rm 124 on the SIUC campus. Map available at

Dr. Logan Park, Assistant Professor of Forestry, SIU, will introduce the film and describe how SIU Forestry students, faculty, and alumni are involved in managing and protecting America's outdoor spaces.

This event is hosted by Saluki Heritage Interpreters, an SIU College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Forestry registered student organization that seeks to increase people's understanding of natural and cultural history.

Trail of Tears Bus Tour

WSIU will host a special one-time opportunity for the public to participate in a bus tour of the sites along the Trail of Tears on the western side of southern Illinois and the Trail of Tears State Park near Jackson, Missouri on Saturday, October 17. The tour will begin at 9am in the Arena Parking lot at Southern Illinois University, and return to the lot by 5pm.
The Illinois Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will partner with WSIU to provide docents for the tour who will share information about Campground Church Cemetery in Union County, and the final encampment in Union County near Jonesboro. Lunch will be provided for the participants at the Trail of Tears Lodge.
After lunch, the bus tour will continue to the Trail of Tears State Park for a guided tour of the visitors’ center and the grounds overlooking the location where the detachments crossed the Mississippi.
Anyone interested in participating must pre-register by October 8th, by calling Vickie Devenport at 618-453-6148. Space is limited and seats will be available on a first-come, first served basis.
Funding for this project was made possible through a grant from WETA Public Broadcasting in conjunction with the Ken Burns’ documentary, National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

Trail of Tears Work Day

WSIU and our partners, the Shawnee National Forest and the Illinois Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will host the Trail of Tears Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, October 10 from 8am to 3pm on the Crabb/Abbott Farm in Pope County. Participants will help restore a segment of the original trail bed of the Trail of Tears and enjoy hands-on experiences learning about our region's history and Native American heritage.

Transportation is available, but limited. Anyone interested in participating must pre-register by Thursday, October 8th by calling the Volunteer Hotline at (618) 687-1731, extension 125. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to participate and an adult must accompany all children. Lunch and drinks will be provided.

Traveling Museum Exhibit

A traveling museum exhibit, "Mapping the Trail of Tears through Southern Illinois" will be hosted in the fall at various locations around the region. This museum exhibit was initially part of a larger exhibit entitled Mapping Southern Illinois hosted by the University Museum at SIUC. The Trail of Tears map and information displayed in the exhibit are part of the research by curators Karen Frailey and Harvey Henson.

Karen Frailey, SIUC Forestry, has been working on identifying segments and points of interest along the Trail as part of a National Park Service grant to support her MS Thesis work. Henson, Geophysicist at SIUC College of Science and Adjunct Curator of Geology for the University Museum, has worked at Campground Cemetery using ground penetrating radar and other subsurface imaging techniques to look for unmarked graves related to the Trail of Tears period.

Watch for further details about the dates and locations for this traveling exhibit.

To view a virtual (online) version of this exhibit, visit the following link.

Mapping the Trail of Tears in Southern Illinois.

Regional Sponsors

dept of forestry logo walgreens logo

National Sponsors

Bank of America Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr Fund Corporation for Public Broadcasting The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Park Foundation

National Park Foundation The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation The Pew Charitable TrustsGM


Florentine Films and WETA

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