Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters can apply for the third lottery for 2018 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits by the application deadline of Feb. 9. Go to the IDNR website for more information: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/TurkeyHunting.aspx
Buy Fishing Licenses Starting March 1: The IDNR encourages Illinoisans and visitors to our state to buy a license and enjoy the great fishing opportunities Illinois has to offer. Fishing license revenues, as well as apportionment revenues from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment, go directly into supporting fishing programs, habitat enhancement, and production of sportfish at IDNR hatcheries. The IDNR Division of Fisheries will issue Free Group Fishing Permits, but only in instances in which groups of hospital patients or nursing home residents will be fishing as part of therapy programs. Youth and social groups planning fishing events and activities are reminded that youth under the age of 16 need not have a license to fish, while adults accompanying or chaperoning the youth, or participating in a group fishing event, should make sure they have licenses if they intend to fish. Of course, everyone is exempt from the requirement to have a license during the 2018 Illinois Free Fishing Days, scheduled this year for June 15-18 (Father’s Day weekend). The IDNR provides free fishing to youth under the age of 16 (no fishing license needed), persons who are blind and persons with disabilities (no fishing license needed), along with discounted licenses to persons age 65 and older, and to qualifying resident veterans. An Illinois annual resident fishing license costs $15.00 – and is one of the lowest-priced fishing licenses in the country (ninth cheapest among all the states). Illinois’ 2018 fishing, hunting, and sportsmen combination licenses will be available beginning March 1, and will be valid through March 31, 2019. For more information on fishing opportunities in Illinois, check the I Fish Illinois website at www.ifishillinois.org.
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Oil and Gas Advisory Board: The Illinois Oil and Gas Advisory Board will meet on Thurs., Feb. 8 at 10:00 a.m. at the Illinois Oil and Gas Association, 824 Ill. Rt. 15, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864. For more information, phone 217-782-3718.
Hunter and Boating Safety Education Courses: Register now for Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses from the IDNR. Spring classes are being scheduled. Check the IDNR website for class dates and locations: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/VolunteerServiceCoordinators.aspx
Illinois Freedom Project Program Feb. 7 at ISM: The Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Wed., Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. will host a free program bringing to life some of the people and places that have been subjects of the Illinois Freedom Project. The Illinois Freedom Project was undertaken by staff at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Old State Capitol State Historic site, with many community partners, to investigate the places that best represent the inspiring stories of the move from slavery to freedom in Illinois. Lincoln Home National Historic Site Historian Timothy P. Townsend will present the program as part of the monthly Paul Mickey Learning Series at the Illinois State Museum. Admission to the Museum for the program is free. For additional information, please contact the ISM by phone at 217-558-6696 or by email at email@example.com.
Music at the Museum on Feb. 8: Head to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Thurs., Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. for the ‘Music at the Museum’ concert by Michael Johnathon, folksinger, songwriter, and performer of traditional, contemporary and original folk songs. He created and hosts the worldwide broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, with an audience of more than a million listeners each week on 500 public radio stations. Tickets are available at the door. For more information on the featured acts and a full ‘Music at the Museum’ series schedule, visit museumconcerts.com.
Lincoln’s Birthday Event at Vandalia Statehouse Feb. 10: Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with a special event on Saturday, Feb. 10. The free party, a tradition at the site since 1973, runs from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Local historian Dale Timmerman will lead visitors in songs such as “America” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Kevin Kaegy from the Bond County Historical Society will deliver a presentation at 1:00 p.m. on Lincoln and his connection to slavery here in Illinois. Vandalia Statehouse is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and is located at 315 W. Gallatin St., Vandalia, IL 62471. For more information, visit the Vandalia Historical Society on Facebook or call the Statehouse at 618-283-1161.
Lincoln’s Birthday Event on Feb. 10 at David Davis Mansion: The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site will celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with a meet and greet with “President Lincoln” on Sat., Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children and their families will get to meet Mr. Lincoln (portrayed by Randy Duncan), take pictures with him and enjoy birthday cake at the home of one of Lincoln’s closest friends and political allies, Judge David Davis. Through tall tales and amusing stories told by President Lincoln and the volunteers, visitors will learn about Lincoln’s life and his relationship with Davis, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lincoln in 1862. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site was built in 1872 for Justice Davis and his wife, Sarah. It is open Wednesday through Saturday for free public tours, and is located at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington. For more information, call (309) 828-1084 or visit www.daviddavismansion.org.
Sandburg Songbag Concert Feb. 11 in Galesburg: Sally Weisenburg and Don Berbaum will bring jazz and blues to the Carl Sandburg Songbag Concert on Sun., Feb. 11 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg. A team both personally and musically since the mid-1970s, Weisenburg and Berbaum perform music from many categories in addition to jazz and blues. The performance will be in the Sandburg site’s Barn at 313 E. Third Street in Galesburg. A donation of $5 per person is suggested. The concert is sponsored by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and the IDNR.
Lindsay Home’s ‘Poets in the Parlor’ on Feb. 18: The public is invited to attend a poetry event at the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site in Springfield on Sun., Feb. 18 at 2:00 p.m., an opportunity for guests to listen to and discuss poetry in the home of the artist Vachel Lindsay. The free event on Feb. 18 features Meagan Cass, who will read from her first full-length collection, ActivAmerica, which won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and was released in November 2017 by UNT Press. The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site, open on weekends and by appointment, is located at 603 South 5th Street in Springfield. For more information, call 217-524-3971.
Bicentennial Series Begins Feb. 18 at the Illinois State Museum: A special Illinois Bicentennial series of programs – “The Culture and Heritage of Illinoisans” – will begin on Sun., Feb. 18 and continue on the third Sunday of every month through October at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. The series is presented by the Academy of Lifelong Learning at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield in collaboration with the Illinois State Museum, and it will feature several Road Scholar Speakers offered by Illinois Humanities. The first program in the series is a presentation by Illinois State Historian Dr. Samuel Wheeler to be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 18. Dr. Wheeler’s topic – “Two Centuries to Celebrate: Illinois at the Bicentennial” – will focus on the ways our state has celebrated milestone anniversaries. The program is free and open to the public at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.
Gallery Walk and Talk at Illinois State Museum Feb. 20: Join curator John Lustig on a walking tour of the exhibition "Toy Box Inspiration Through Play" at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Tues., Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. Toys are an opportunity to play, learn and ultimately serve as a repository for memory. The history of toy manufacturing in Illinois is rooted deeply in the culture, as are artists who source toys and games as a means for their expression. The talk will highlight the intersections between creative industry and artistic expression. The program is free at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.
Earth Day in the Parks: Applications will be accepted from through Feb. 28 for 2018 Earth Day in the Parks events from the IDNR, promoting stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. Students will be helping the environment and wildlife, participating in outdoor activities to increase their fitness and learning that their actions can make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to return to the state park to see and study the results of their work. Some classes may want to perform additional volunteer work at the park. Teachers can apply to participate online: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/EDITPinstruct.aspx
Weekend Knap-In on March 3-4 at Dickson Mounds Museum: View outstanding creations by stone craftsmen at the annual Weekend Knap-In at Dickson Mounds Museum on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days. Admission is free. Flintknappers interested in participating can call the Museum at 309-547-3721. Dickson Mounds Museum is located 10956 N. Dickson Mounds Road, Lewistown, IL.
Camping Reservations: Make your 2018 Illinois state park campsite reservations now. Just go to the Reserve America website at www.reserveamerica.com and be all set for your camping trips in the months ahead.
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