museum grand prairie middle fork campground homer lake interpretive lake of the woods golf kickapoo rail trail

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Mission Statement
We conserve, preserve and restore natural areas,
We provide cultural, historical and environmental opportunities,
We provide compatible outdoor recreation experiences.

Phone: (217) 586-3360 | Fax: (217) 586-5724 | Email:


Online Registration and Reservations

We are excited to offer online registration and facilities reservations! Live by your schedule, not ours. Sign up for an activity, and reserve facilities, all from your computer or mobile device at any time of the day or night – whenever it is convenient for you.

Check it out here!
How to create your account

Take Me Fishing
Saturday, July 30

Boathouse Peninsula, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 9–11am
Bring your family and friends out to the forest preserves for some free fishing fun! Kids will have the chance to win awards for the Most Fish, the Biggest Fish, and the Good Sport Award! Basic fishing instruction will be available to beginners. Cane poles and bait are available to use, but you are welcome to bring your own. The Illinois fishing license requirement has been waived for this event; all fishing is catch-and-release. Adult supervision of children 15 and under is required. All activities are FREE.
For more info: (217) 896-2455 or

What's Water Worth to You?
Saturday, July 30
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 2-4 pm
Water plays a huge role in our everyday lives, but also is present for important life events, too. In partnership with the News-Gazette, we asked you, the community, to tell us what water’s worth is to you. Through poetry, song, prose and more, we have selected the most compelling and touching expressions of the impact on an individual’s life. Join us for an afternoon of performances of these pieces, and experience the worth of water through another’s eyes. FREE. For more info:
217-586-2612, or

Reserve a Campsite Now!
The Harry L. Swartz Campground at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve is open for the 2016 season! Campground consists of 65 campsites that can accommodate individuals as well as larger groups. Fifty-three of the sites have electricity. Each campsite is a quiet retreat shaded by large oak, hickory and hackberry trees. Wildflowers grow in abundance. Campsites are available per night on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are allowed for stays of at least three consecutive nights.

Make a reservation



Too Much or Too Little: Tips for Landscape Plants in Waterlogged or Drought Conditions
Sunday, July 31

Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 2-3 pm
The weather in Champaign county is fickle and we often experience too much water in our landscapes (i.e. flooding) or too little rain (i.e. drought). These conditions are hard on our landscape plants and frustrating to home gardeners. This lecture and slide show will assist you in managing these problems through proper plant selection, planting and maintenance. FREE! (217) 586-2612

Construction Updates
The District is making improvements over the next several months to the boat launch and boardwalk area between Walnut Hill and the Natural Playscape at Homer Lake Forest Preserve. To ensure the safety of visitors the main parking lot will be closed during this time. The overflow parking directly north will be open for visitors.

Questions about this project can be directed to