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Giant City Visitor center

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235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
618-457-4836 https://www.facebook.com/friendsofgiantcity/

January 2020

Storytime in the Park: Owls

January 25 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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What better place to hear a story than Giant City State Park! Join park volunteer Lorie Allen as she reads a fun and interactive story about owls. After the story, stick around to make an easy nature themed craft. This program is open to all but geared towards children ages…

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February 2020

Birding Basics

February 1 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, February 1, 10-11am, optional outdoor program to follow 11:00AM to 12:30PM Come learn about the resident birds that ride out the winter at Giant City State Park. Learn key characteristics used for songbird identification and some neat natural history about birds that overwinter at Giant City. After the indoor…

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Snake Road: A Southern Illinois Treasure

February 8 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Snake Road, located in the Shawnee National Forest, is not only a place to find a diverse array of amphibians, reptiles, and other wildlife, but also boasts a rich display of plant life. Join biologist, John Palis, on a virtual walk of the world-famous Snake Road. John will share his…

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The Underground Railroad in Southern Illinois

February 9 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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The Underground Railroad was a vast but secret network of travel routes and safe havens to help African Americans escape slavery. Did you know that there are several natural landmarks in the Shawnee that remain as markers of the Underground Railroad activity in southern Illinois? Join Mary McCorvie, Heritage Program…

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Striped Skunk Ecology in Southern Illinois

February 22 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, February 22, 1-2pm Katelyn Amspacher has a background in wildlife research and conservation. She is currently a PhD student in the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois University where she studies striped skunks. Katelyn will present an overview of her research that will discuss home ranges, habitat use,…

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Story time in the Park: Fox

February 29 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, February 29, 1-2pm What better place to hear a story than Giant City State Park! Join park volunteer Lorie Allen as she reads a fun and interactive story about our canine friend the fox. After the story, stick around to make an easy nature themed craft. This program is…

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March 2020

Hike with a Homeless Dog

March 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, March 21, 10am-Noon Giant City is partnering with Wright Way Animal Rescue to get our four legged and two legged friends out for a hike together! Participants will have the opportunity to walk either the moderate one-mile Giant City Nature Trail, or the easy 1/3 mile Devil’s Standtable Trail.…

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Story Time in the Park: Trees

March 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, March 21, 1-2pm What better place to hear a story than Giant City State Park! Join park volunteer Lorie Allen as she reads a fun and interactive nature story about trees. After the story, stick around to make an easy nature themed craft. This program is open to all…

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Giant City ‘Streets’ Exposed

March 28 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, March 28, 10am-11:30am The “streets” of Giant City are one of the most well known spots in the park. These rocks are how Giant City gets its name! But, do you know how they were formed or why they look like the “streets” in a city of giants? Join…

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Botanical Names Demystified

March 29 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Sunday, March 29, 2-3pm “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their rightful names.” Botanists communicate about plants using scientific names, but they are often difficult to spell and pronounce. This presentation will teach you the importance of botanical names, how to pronounce them, and what their names…

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April 2020

Spring Wildflower Walks

April 4 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Trillium Trail in Giant City is one of the best spring wildflower trails in southern Illinois. Join the Natural Resources Coordinator as we meander through the spring woods and take a closer look at these petite beauties. Please register in advance by calling 618-457-4836. This is a moderately difficult two-mile…

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Spring Wildflower Walks

April 11 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
+ Google Map

Trillium Trail in Giant City is one of the best spring wildflower trails in southern Illinois. Join the Natural Resources Coordinator as we meander through the spring woods and take a closer look at these petite beauties. Please register in advance by calling 618-457-4836. This is a moderately difficult two-mile…

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The Mysterious Morel Mushroom

April 11 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, April 11, 1:00-2:30pm The Morel is one tricky fungus! There seems to be no rhyme or reason to these mushrooms. Park Volunteer, photographer and local nature enthusiast, Gretchen Steele, has some great tips to help you find the sometimes hard to locate Morel. After a brief presentation, we will…

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Spring Wildflower Walks

April 17 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
+ Google Map

Trillium Trail in Giant City is one of the best spring wildflower trails in southern Illinois. Join the Natural Resources Coordinator as we meander through the spring woods and take a closer look at these petite beauties. Please register in advance by calling 618-457-4836. This is a moderately difficult two-mile…

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May 2020

Shrub Identification Hike

May 2 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, May 2, 10am-Noon Blueberries, delicate lantern like seeds, and wonderfully fragrant leaves are all things that belong to shrubs that you can find at Giant City! If you have ever hiked in the park and won-dered, “what is that shrub,” now is your chance to find out! Join Forestry…

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Tree Meditation

May 2 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, May 2, 3-5pm The search for balance between work, family and self-care often results in chaos as one hurries madly from one thing to the next. Trees, however, do not have the option of running. In this two hour guided journey with trees, learn how to tap into the…

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Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)

May 15 @ 1:00 pm - May 16 @ 4:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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May 15 & 16, 1-4pm Shinrin-Yoku, translated as forest bathing, has been shown to lower cortisone (the stress hormone), lower blood pressure, and improve immune function. Forest bathing walks take you away from your day to day stressors so you can slow down and connect with the forest in a…

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Amazing Mammals of Giant City

May 23 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, May 23, 6-7pm Head out to Giant City to join Bev Shofstall from Free Again Wild-life as she introduces us to some amazing mammals that you may find in the wild at Giant City! This program is recommended for all ages and will be held outdoors at Shelter #3…

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June 2020

Goat Yoga in the Park

June 6 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, June 6, 9-10 am Be one with nature, your soul and…..goats! Join us for a free outdoors goat yoga class! This program is about disconnecting from day to day stress and focusing on happy vibes. Goat yoga is designed for beginners but all levels are welcome to attend. Registration…

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Fabulous Ferns of Giant City

June 18 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Thursday, June 18, 5-7pm In summer, Giant City is a lush green environment full of many different species of ferns. This program, conducted by Extension Forester Chris Evans, will give a hands-on approach to learning all about these green beauties. Join us as we head out to the two-mile Trillium…

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Bow Fishing 101

June 27 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, June 27, 1-2pm If you have been interested in learning more about this rapidly growing sport, the equipment needed, and how it can help with conservation efforts on our waterways in the battle against Asian carp, you won’t want to miss this program! Participants will enjoy not only an…

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July 2020

Sunup Hikes

July 10 @ 6:30 am - 8:00 am
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Friday, July 10, 24, 31, 6:30-8am It’s summer in southern Illinois and even though it’s hot and humid, that’s no reason to stop hiking! Roll out of bed and join the Park Natural Resources Coordinator as we get some exercise and take in the early morning woods on one of…

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Sunup Hikes

July 24 @ 6:30 am - 8:00 am
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
+ Google Map

Friday, July 24, 31, 6:30-8am It’s summer in southern Illinois and even though it’s hot and humid, that’s no reason to stop hiking! Roll out of bed and join the Park Natural Resources Coordinator as we get some exercise and take in the early morning woods on one of the…

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Flora of Kinkaid Lake

July 26 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Sunday, July 26, 2-3pm There is a lot of public land to explore around Kinkaid Lake in northwestern Jackson County, Illinois and many botanical treas-ures await the intrepid naturalist. Over 670 plant species were observed during a survey in 2019. Come listen to botanist Chris Benda highlight the neat plants…

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Sunup Hike

July 31 @ 6:30 am - 8:00 am
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
+ Google Map

Friday, July 31, 6:30-8am It’s summer in southern Illinois and even though it’s hot and humid, that’s no reason to stop hiking! Roll out of bed and join the Park Natural Resources Coordinator as we get some exercise and take in the early morning woods on one of the 8…

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August 2020

Identifying Grasses Made Easy

August 15 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, August 15, 10am-Noon Identifying grasses can be tricky! Join Erin Garrett with the U of I Extension to learn tips and techniques to help you identify 30 different grasses in southern Illinois. After the presentation, take a hike with Erin to identify grasses in Giant City. Please register by…

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September 2020

Reptiles and amphibians

September 5 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, September 5, 1-2pm Here at Giant City, reptiles and amphibians hold a special place in our hearts. Join Jeremy Schumacher, Forester and reptile/amphibian enthusiast, as he discusses these often misunderstood creatures and, shows off several live species. No registration required.

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October 2020

Waterfowl Identification Workshop

October 3 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, October 3, 1-2 Waterfowl identification is often difficult for both new and experienced enthusiasts. Fortunately, waterfowl are fairly large birds and with clues such as size, silhouette, flight patterns, vocalizations and plumage identification will be a snap. No reservations required.

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Hike with a Homeless Dog

October 10 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
+ Google Map

Saturday, October 10, 10am-Noon Giant City is partnering with Wright Way Animal Rescue to get our four legged and two legged friends out for a hike together! Participants will have the opportunity to walk either the moderate one-mile Giant City Nature Trail, or the easy 1/3 mile Devil’s Standtable Trail.…

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Owls of Giant City

October 17 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
+ Google Map

Saturday, October 17, 2-3pm Whoooo said Giant City has owls? I do, that’s whooooo! Join Beverly Shofstall from Free Again Wildlife Rehab as she introduces us to some live owls that you may find at the Park. Arrive at 1:30pm to dissect an actual owl pellet before the presentation! This…

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Trek N’ Treat

October 31 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, October 31, 2-4pm Come to Giant City as we kick off Halloween in the park! Hike the Devil’s Standtable trail for an easy, self-guided hike through the beautiful forest. Along the trail your family will meet our creature characters who will teach you about some of the wonderful and…

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November 2020

Forest Hike

November 7 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, November 7, 1-3pm Join Community Forester, Jennifer Behnken, on the Giant City Nature Trail as she discusses tree identification, Illinois forests, wood products, cultural history, and invasive species. This will be a fun interpretive hike focused on trees and forests. No registration required. Meet at Shelter #3 parking lot.

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Beginning Watercolor Painting with Fall Colors

November 8 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Sunday, November 8, 1-3pm An introduction to using landscape and nature themes in watercolor by local artist, Marie Samuel, will cover several ways to simulate texture in a two hour guided step-by-step lesson suitable for all levels of experience. Dry brush, wet into wet, use of salt and rubbing alcohol…

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Story Time in the Park: Terrific Turkey

November 14 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, November 14, 1-2pm What better place to hear a story than Giant City State Park! Join park volunteer Lorie Allen as she reads a fun and interactive nature story about Turkeys. After the story, stick around to make an easy nature themed craft. This program is open to all…

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December 2020

Illinois Botanizer’s Best of Illinois Nature 2020

December 6 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Sunday, December 6, 2-3pm Botanist Chris Benda aka “Illinois Botanizer” travels throughout Illinois every year, visiting nature preserves, leading nature tours for the public, and encountering all kinds of neat plants and animals. Join him as he presents photographs highlighting his best nature encounters of 2019. No registration required. Meet…

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Story Time in the Park: Wonders of Winter

December 12 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Giant City Visitor center, 235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
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Saturday, December 12, 1-2pm What better place to hear a story than Giant City State Park! Join park volunteer Lorie Allen as she reads a fun and interactive nature story about Winter. After the story, stick around to make an easy nature themed craft. This program is open to all…

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