What To Know
The Vermilion County Conservation District is known for its conservation education for people of all ages, but is best known for providing fourth and fifth grade students with a program called Outdoor School.
More than 72,000 students from surrounding counties have graduated from this program since 1972.
The program, offered at both Kennekuk and Forest Glen introduces students to the forest, wildlife, streams, ponds, prairie and habitats.
- Together with Vermilion County Pheasants Forever, funds were used to purchase land near Forest Glen Preserve, thus enabling match grant fund requirements for the construction of the Kennekuk Environmental Education Center.
- Wheeler Foundation provided $20,000 funding for an all-accessible nature trail at the education center site. This was a requirement for the OSLAD grant. Local Scouts built three observation decks on the all-accessible trail.
- Kennekuk Road Runners and Vermilion Voles Vintage Baseball team joined forces with the VCCFoundation’s “Cheeseburgers and Fun” event in August with all proceeds going to the education center.
Recreational / Tourism Impacts
- The proposed 24-mile Kickapoo Trail will stretch from Urbana to Kickapoo State Park to Kennekuk County Park and will terminate at the Kennekuk Environmental Education Center, then being the eastern trail head.
- The U.S. Department of the Interior has given permission that the Education Center be the “official headquarters” of the Middle Fork Scenic River.
- The Collins Site, a state historic site, is a native American Village with burial sites (mounds) just north of the Education Center. Artifacts date this settlement to the same period as Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois.
- The Kennekuk Marsh complex lies to the north of the Education Center. Each Spring 80 acres of connecting ponds that comprise the marsh are home to many waterfowl species and other wildlife, including the river otter.