News & Media

There’s always something happening at the Macon County Conservation District!  Staff and volunteers work all year round to provide you with educational programs, restore natural areas, and preserve historic sites.  To know what’s going on:

Prairie Islander

Subscribe to the Prairie Islander, our free, quarterly newsletter, by emailing us your name and mailing address at [email protected].  You may also read the current issue online or subscribe to our mailing list to have the Prairie Islander emailed to you each quarter. Scroll to the bottom of any page on our website to sign up!

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries about stories or photo requests, call 217-423-7708.  If you wish to receive our news releases and photo opportunities via email, send a message to [email protected] or call 217-423-7708.

Social Media

Receive trail condition updates, see the work we’re doing, and share pictures of your visits to the conservation areas by following us on Facebook  and Twitter.

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
🐸 Happy Leap Day! 🐸

There are plenty of extraordinary leapers in our local ecosystems, from springtails to cottontails to this guy: the gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor).

Most frogs can jump 10-20 times their body length, with some trees frogs going up to 50 times their body length! Gray tree frogs are arboreal, and they jump around in the trees to try and catch prey.

Another cool adaptation they have are their grippy fingertips. These guys can cling to all sorts of surfaces, and they are expertly camouflaged so you might not see them even if theyre right in front of you. While the frog pictured in this photo is gray, just like its name suggests, younger frogs are often bright green, and they have the ability to change their color from gray to brown to green, much like a chameleon.

Whats your favorite leaper in nature? 🐸

🐸 Happy Leap Day! 🐸

There are plenty of extraordinary leapers in our local ecosystems, from springtails to cottontails to this guy: the gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor).

Most frogs can jump 10-20 times their body length, with some trees frogs going up to 50 times their body length! Gray tree frogs are arboreal, and they jump around in the trees to try and catch prey.

Another cool adaptation they have are their grippy fingertips. These guys can cling to all sorts of surfaces, and they are expertly camouflaged so you might not see them even if they're right in front of you. While the frog pictured in this photo is gray, just like its name suggests, younger frogs are often bright green, and they have the ability to change their color from gray to brown to green, much like a chameleon.

What's your favorite 'leaper' in nature? 🐸
... See MoreSee Less

A couple of our staff are up at the Great Lakes Park Training Institute this week. Were ready to learn some great new information and concepts that we can bring back with us to the MCCD! Conferences like this are a great opportunity to network with others in our field and learn new practices or different ways to do what were already doing, or even to teach others practices they might not know about that we do at our areas!

A couple of our staff are up at the Great Lakes Park Training Institute this week. We're ready to learn some great new information and concepts that we can bring back with us to the MCCD! Conferences like this are a great opportunity to network with others in our field and learn new practices or different ways to do what we're already doing, or even to teach others practices they might not know about that we do at our areas! ... See MoreSee Less

Our hard-working volunteers have labeled and checked 4,307 Prairie Islander newsletters this morning! Well be loading them up to take to the post office soon and on the way to you so you can read all about what weve go coming up this spring! 

Are you signed up for our free quarterly newsletter? Would you like to be added to the list? You can message us with your mailing address or you can go digital and sign up to have it sent to your email!

Our hard-working volunteers have labeled and checked 4,307 Prairie Islander newsletters this morning! We'll be loading them up to take to the post office soon and on the way to you so you can read all about what we've go coming up this spring!

Are you signed up for our free quarterly newsletter? Would you like to be added to the list? You can message us with your mailing address or you can go digital and sign up to have it sent to your email!
... See MoreSee Less

Load more

Trading Tractors for Tadpoles

February 15, 2024|

During the summer of 2023, we took on the task of constructing three wetlands at two District locations. Fort Daniel Conservation Area, located east of Mt. Zion, is where one of the wetlands was constructed, and the other two at Friends Creek Conservation Area, located in the northern portion of Macon County near Cisco. This is one of the largest earthmoving projects the District has done in-house; every member of the Operations staff had a role in this construction project.

Beyond Brick & Mortar: Building the Future of Education with Open Walls & Open Minds

February 15, 2024|

In 2023, we applied for - and received - a grant from the IDNR to construct an indoor-outdoor classroom in the lower level of the Rock Springs Nature Center. This project will focus on increasing our programming space at the Nature Center by constructing additional indoor and outdoor learning facilities and structures.

Let Them Be Wild

November 20, 2023|

We understand more than most that baby animals are downright adorable, but is it ever a good idea to take an animal from the wild to keep as a pet? The answer to that would be, no. No matter how cute a wild animal is, removing them from their home in the wild to bring in and attempt to keep them as a domestic animal is never advisable for many reasons.

Giving Tuesday

November 2, 2023|

Giving Back This Giving Tuesday Giving a little helps a lot. On Giving Tuesday, people all around the world do their part to give back! This year, we're asking for your support to help us protect and conserve the natural resources of our community. Your donations will help us to: Restore native habitats Purchase native seeds and plants Educate the public on the importance of conservation The Macon County Conservation District is fortunate to have staff who are passionate about what we do here and love getting to educate and inform the public on what it is that we do, [...]

An Unexpected Find

August 18, 2023|

We here at the Macon County Conservation District wouldn’t be able to do what we do without several vital things that all play major roles in our daily operations, including our amazing volunteer base, our stellar and knowledgeable staff, and of course, the public that we serve.