Celebrate Earth Day & Welcome Spring!

April 27, 2024, 12-4pm

Celebrate Earth Day and welcome spring at the 43rd annual Festival of Spring with an afternoon of outdoor family activities! Co-sponsored by Decatur Area Audubon Society. Canoeing $3/person. All other activities are free. No registration required. Unless otherwise stated, all activities are from 12-4pm.

Here is a list of the morning activities you can expect from 8am – 12 pm!

Bird Banding, 8-10am – Join Dr. Travis Wilcoxen of Millikin University as he catches and bands wild songbirds. Stop by the Information Pavilion at Rock Springs Conservation Area any time between 8 and 10am.

Spring Migration Walk, 8am – Join a knowledgeable Audubon guide for a walk on the trails in search of early spring migrants as well as birds who are in central Illinois year ’round. Spring is a wonderful time to discover new birds! Bring your own pair of binoculars or borrow ours.

Sangamon River Cleanup, 10am-12pm – Help clear trash from the banks of the Sangamon River to make it a safer and more beautiful place for wildlife and people. Dress to get dirty and bring your own gloves. Bags will be provided. Meet at the Information Pavilion at Rock Springs Conservation Area. Staff will shuttle participants to cleanup sites. Registration begins at 9:30am.
Organized groups or clubs should call in advance, so we can accommodate the size of your group: 217-423-7708.

Here is a list of the afternoon activities you can expect from 12pm-4pm!

Walks – Meet at Rock Springs Conservation Area for one or more guided hikes. Wear sturdy shoes.

  • Wildflower Wander at 1pm
  • Signs of Spring Stroll at 2:30pm

Birds of Prey Show – See and learn about live birds of prey with the Illinois Raptor Center. Choose from one of three program times: 12pm, 1:30pm, or 3pm. Held inside Rock Springs Nature Center.

Canoeing, 1pm-4pm – Spend some time on the water in one of our canoes. A naturalist will go over the basics and answer your questions before you launch your canoe. Meet at the pond by the pavilions. All equipment is provided. $3 per person; at least one adult must be in each canoe.

Wagon Rides, 12pm-3:30pm – Tour some of the highlights of Rock Springs Conservation Area on a tractor-pulled wagon ride. Wagon departs near the flag poles outside of Rock Springs Nature Center every 15-20 minutes, and rides are first-come, first-served.

Tour the Trobaugh-Good House – Tour an 1860s farm house at Homestead Prairie Farm and learn what life was like over 160 years ago. Interpreters in period clothing will be on site to answer your questions. Due to the small size of the interior rooms, roughly 6 people will be allowed inside at a time.

Heirloom Garden Tours – Tour the heirloom vegetable and herb gardens at Homestead Prairie Farm. Learn how plants were historically grown and used, and perhaps get inspiration for your own garden at home. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet and ask questions of expert Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension.

Prize Passports – Children can collect signatures from booths they visit, then turn their passports in for a prize at the Prize Passport table.

Community Organizations – Browse information about local organizations that work to benefit water and wildlife. Many organizations will have take-home activity packets for children. Available first-come, first-served. Organizations participating include:

Concessions – Quench your thirst and grab a quick bite at the concession stand, operated by the Macon County Conservation Foundation. Every purchase benefits natural areas restoration and education.

Additional Activities – Other activities include a scavenger hunt, the Web of Life Game, Restoration Station, a book exchange, live reptiles, pond exploration, and more.

If you have any questions, call us at 217-423-7708.


April 27, 2024

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Rock Springs Nature Center & Conservation Area

3939 Nearing Lane
Decatur, IL 62521 United States
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