In partnership with the City of Alton, The Nature Institute is excited to announce the 2-day Heartland Prairie Festival to be held on Friday, May 3rd and Saturday, May 4th on the North Side of Gordon Moore Park.

Middle school teachers and students are invited to Day 1 of the Festival (Friday, May 3rd) from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to participate in a fun-filled day of exploring, learning, and experiencing the wonders of Heartland Prairie. This engaging educational program will teach students the importance of protecting and conserving Illinois prairies in a comfortable outdoor classroom setting. Students will participate in hands-on learning stations led by resource professionals. 

Also on Friday, May 3rd, from 12:00-12:30,we will host a press conference highlighting the conservation easement recently granted to the property. Representatives from the City of Alton and the Parks & Recreation Board will attend and be recognized for taking this important step to provide long-term protection of this wonderful example of a native Illinois prairie ecosystem. 

Day 2 of the Festival (Saturday, May 4th) is FREE and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. and will feature various exhibits, activities and entertainment related to nature education and life on the prairie. Historic re-enactors will be on site along with a fife and drum corps. We are looking for additional exhibitors/vendors to join us for the day to teach others about the prairie through hikes, learning stations, arts, crafts, music, food and the like. 

For more information or to register as a exhibitor/vendor for one or both days, please contact Patti Brown at (618) 467-2521 or

Text @RB to 618-202-4618 to sign up for Text Alerts from RiverBender!

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