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National Parks Community Engagement Partner and Series Sponsor

SIU Department of Forestry, College of Agricultural Sciences

The Department of Forestry at Southern Illinois University in the College of Agricultural Sciences provides undergraduate and graduate degrees in several program areas, including Forest Recreation and Park Management, Forest Resource Management, Urban Forestry, and Forest Hydrology. SIU Forestry students enjoy many outdoors classroom experiences with coursework that prepares them for careers working in nature for conservation, recreation, and environmental sustainability.

See a presentation about SIU Forestry academic programs and careers. (best viewed with Internet Explorer)

Touch the Trail Community Engagement Partners

Shawnee National Forest

The Shawnee National Forest is located at the junction of five physiographic regions and at the edge of the glaciated area, which results in a wide diversity of flora and fauna, and unique geologic features. The Forest provides some of the largest and most diverse blocks of mature hardwood forest, forest interior habitat, and public openland habitats in Illinois. The Shawnee National Forest also contains the most acreage of Natural Areas in the State of Illinois, providing remnants of 25 rare natural communities in 80 Natural Areas. The Forest provides habitat for aquatic and terrestrial threatened, endangered and sensitive species, and provides an abundance of diverse habitat for game and non-game species. The Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir and Inahgeh lands provide important wetland habitats for migrating waterfowl in the Mississippi flyway. The Forest provides mature upland oak-hickory and bottomland hardwood forests that can be managed on a sustainable basis, providing wildlife habitat and the potential for timber products. The Forest includes large acreages of non-native southern pine plantations that add some scenic diversity to the landscape.

Illinois Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association

The Chapter was formed in 2003 with the following goals:

  • Protect and preserve the Trail of Tears in Illinois
  • Promote awareness of the historic legacy associated with the Trail of Tears
  • Work with the National Trail of Tears Association, the National Park Service, and the Illinois Department of Transportation to develop, certify and interpret sites; to establish standards of appearance, maintenance, management and improvements; to increase signage along Illinois Route 146 (now a Historic Highway) and at sites
  • Conduct and coordinate programs and projects that further the objectives of the National Trail of Tears Association.

National Parks Community Engagement Partner

Calico Country Sew and Vac

Calico Country Sew and Vac, with locations in Carbondale IL and West Frankfort IL, partnered with WSIU TV to host two free quilting workshops on August 29, 2009, providing workshop space, all necessary materials, instruction, and technical support. Participants came from a multi-state area and had a great time turning a beautiful park or forest memory photo into a beautiful quilt block. Stories collected will be forthcoming at the Share Your Story site.


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

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA is a co-production of

Florentine Films and WETA

siu logo 2011

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