Friday, August 23, 2019

Illinois: Cache River Days: Nature Fest September 7

Don’t miss the annual Cache River Days in Ullin, Illinois. The event is scheduled for September 7, 2019 (9am – 4pm) and includes food, music, exhibits, and a variety of family activities. As part of this year’s event, Nature Fest activities will be featured at Cache River Days on Saturday. It will highlight birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians and plants found in the Cache River Wetlands. For those who want to venture out in the Cache River Wetlands, free canoe tours are scheduled throughout the day, and the Cache River Wetlands Center will be open through the weekend. Check out the schedule below:

Nature Fest Programs and Activities

Birds of Prey Show (1pm and 3pm): Join staff from Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation for a close-up view of live owls, hawks and other avian predators. Wildlife rehabilitator Beverly Shofstall will share fascinating facts about the natural history of each species and current issues facing raptors in the wild.

Asian Carp Fry – FREE Tasting (all day): Join Fishery Biologists with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to learn about native fish and other aquatic life in the Cache and Illinois waterways. This activity tent will also demonstrated the tricks of filleting and preparing Asian carp – an invasive species that crowd out native fish throughout IL waterways. Don’t miss a FREE sample of this surprisingly mild and delicious fish. We can beat ‘em if we eat em’!

Cold-blooded Creatures of the Cache (all day): How can you tell a male box turtle from a female? If you step on a cottonmouth snake, does it bite? What kind of lizard has a blue-tipped tail? Learn answers to these questions and get an up-close look at snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and salamanders found in the Cache River Wetlands.

Kids Corner (all day): Bring your family over to Kids Corner for hands-on fun, sure to inspire nature lovers of all ages! Encourage your kids to “get WILD” by creating their own bandanas using wildlife stamps, or to show off their love for nature with a bird tattoo (temporary).

Conservation Trailer (all day): Law Enforcement officers from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and US Fish and Wildlife Service will be on hand to answer questions about hunting, fishing and other recreational activities. Be sure to visit the Wildlife Education Program trailer, which serves as a visual, educational tool for individuals interested in the outdoors.

Field Trip/Tour

Cache River Wetlands Canoe Tour (tours offered throughout the day):
Staff will provide 3 guided tours through Buttonland Swamp on a canoe trail that meanders through backwater sloughs to the state champion bald cypress; There is limited space on each tour. You may pre-register by calling 618-634-2231, or check at the information tent for availability the day of the event.

Activities located at the Cache River Wetlands Center

(Located at 8885 State Route 37, three miles south of Cypress, IL)

Which Grass Is Which? (10 am to noon): Identifying grasses can be tricky! Join Erin Medvecz, University of Illinois Extension, to learn tips and techniques to help identify 30 different grasses in southern Illinois. After the Presentation, take a hike with Erin to identify grasses around the Wetlands Center.

Galls Gone Wild (1pm-2pm): Have you ever wondered why gall form or how to manage trees with galls? Tricia Bethke, Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator, returns to teach visitors how to identify galls based on size, shape, and color. As well ass, go over the natural history of galls on deciduous trees. To register for this free program call the Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.

Cache River Days will also feature additional programs and activities in the Village of Ullin throughout the weekend. A Community Worship and Fellowship Service will kick-off the event Thursday, September 5th at 6pm. Other activities throughout the weekend include: Train Rides for Children, a Beauty Pageant, a Silent Auction, a 5-K Walk/Run, a Flea Market, a Softball Tournament, a Bounce Blast and Water Slide, a Parade, a Music Festival, and lots of Great Food Vendors. Make sure to check out the information tent for a schedule of all programs.

For more information about the weekend’s events, contact Event Chairman, Mike or Millie DeWitt at 618-845-3445. For information on accommodations and other area attractions, contact Southernmost Illinois Tourism at 1-800-248-4373.