Special Programs for Educators at the Macon County Conservation District

We are committed to providing enriching educational opportunities for students and educators of all kinds: including classroom teachers, homeschoolers, and youth group leaders. The District offers materials for classrooms, field trip destinations, Mobile Nature Center presentations, and assistance with scout badge workshops and requirements.

We’re an extension of your classroom. Our nature programs for all grade levels complement your science curriculum with hands on learning. Our living history programs teach children from pre-kindergarten through college about pioneer life on the Illinois prairie.

All tours, presentations, and programs are adapted according to the age and needs of your group and align with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. The exact standards enhanced by the experience will vary depending on the content of the program, your students, and how you use the experience.

These learning opportunities are perfect for: schools, home-school groups, after school programs, organized groups, scouts, retirement communities, libraries, day care centers, and camps.

All programs can be held at Rock Springs Conservation Area. Many can also be held at Griswold, Sand Creek, Friends Creek, and Fort Daniel Conservation Areas, or at your location.

Rock Springs Conservation Area and Nature Center is located on the southwestern edge of Decatur at 3939 Nearing Lane. To get to Rock Springs Center from Decatur go south on Route 48 and turn right onto Rock Springs Road. Watch for signs. Plenty of parking is available. Rock Springs GPS Coordinates are 39.817713 N, 89.00932 W [get directions]

Field Trips

Immerse your group in nature with a hike at a conservation area, step back in time by visiting a historic site, and more!

Lending Trunks

Borrow one of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources teaching kits.

Mobile Nature Center

We’ll organize a unique learning experience at your location with telescopes.

Museum in a Box

Borrow one of these teaching kits assembled by Conservation District staff, to supplement your own lessons.

Special Presentations

Let us bring an indoor nature or history program to you. No travel required! Or schedule one of these as a field trip.

How to Make Reservations for Educational Programs

You may make reservations for all Macon County Conservation District programs and services by calling 217-423-7708, Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. Programs can be booked for any day of the week (Monday through Sunday). Reserve well in advance to secure the dates you want.

General Information for Educators

Special presentations and the Mobile Nature Center can travel to your location! If you’re interested in saving time or money, consider these programs.

Rain dates are not provided, but we can often work with your group indoors if the weather prohibits outdoor programming. If you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, please contact us as soon as possible.


Groups are welcome to enjoy lunch outdoors during field trips. You may reserve pavilions when you call to schedule your field trip program(s). Rock Springs Nature Center does not have an indoor lunchroom, but can often accommodate groups inside during cold or rainy weather.

What to Wear

We advise sturdy shoes (no sandals), socks, long pants, and long sleeves for participating in outdoor programs. Gloves, hats, and boots are recommended for damp or winter weather.

Visiting on Your Own

We encourage you to bring your class to any of the five conservation areas across Macon County, IL throughout the year. There is no fee to visit any of the sites or visit Rock Springs Nature Center. We simply ask that you call ahead and let us know when you plan to visit.