Join us for the 12th year of Cache River Nature Fest!
SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2013
Our theme Keepers of the Cache focuses on the future of the Cache River Wetlands and individual action to protect this valuable resource. It’s future is dependent on YOU! Everyone can be a Keepers of the Cache by learning about and experiencing this special place. Walking its trails, sitting quietly and listening or casting a line into its calm waters provide an intimate connection to the Cache; working the land to conserve its soil, planting a tree to grow its forests, or learning the plants and animals that are part of its habitats are all ways to take care of the Cache . Landowners, students, community members, resource staff and YOU hold the KEYS to its future. Join us at Cache River Nature Fest and become a Keeper of the Cache.
Cache River Nature Fest 2013 will feature a variety of programs and activities. The event will include LIVE Cache River wildlife including; snakes, frogs, turtles, fish, eagles, owls and hawks; during the day you can learn how and why birds are banded; climb into a life-size eagle’s nest or take a taste of Asian carp and see what other kinds of critters live in the Cache River!
Guided canoe tours and hiking excursions will be offered throughout the day. We have a variety of activities for this year's event that highlight and focus on the Cache River’s biodiversity. All activities are free. All trips are on designated trails; however, it is important to wear appropriate sturdy shoes for hiking trips and to dress for the weather. Consider bringing water, a snack, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, and anything else that might make your outdoor experience more enjoyable.
Check out the Outings link for more information about programs, tours, and trip registration. Pre-registration is required for canoe tours; please call Cypress Creek NWR at 618-634-2231, starting April 11th to reserve a space. Visitors may register for other tours and hikes the day of the event at the Cache River Wetlands Center.
For more information contact; Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge at 618-634-2231 or the Cache River Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064.
The USFWS is committed to providing access to this event for all participants. Please direct all request for sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to Liz Jones at 618-634-2231.
2013 Cache River Nature Fest T-Shirt Design
Participate in Cache River Nature Fest and play a part in restoring the Cache River wetlands! Proceeds from t-shirt and FRIENDS merchandise sales, donations, and pledge dollars collected from the Birding Blitz competition go towards restoration & education projects within the Cache River watershed and surrounding area. Nature Fest t-shirts are available for sale at the Cache River Wetlands Center.
The 2013 T-shirt will be available at Nature Fest! Select from both short-sleeve ($15) and long-sleeve ($25) styles. Youth and adult sizes available. Get ‘em while they last!
Illinois' Bayou - Cache River Wetlands
Making up only 1.5% of the land area in Illinois, the Cache basin harbors 11.5% of the State's high quality floodplain forests, 23% of its remaining high quality barrens habitat, and 91% of the State's high quality swamp/wetland communities. The area shelters 100 state threatened or endangered species and seven federally threatened or endangered species. The Cache River Wetlands are home to some of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi River, includes three National Natural Landmarks, and has been designated a "Wetlands of International Importance", putting it in the same ecological league as Okefenokee Swamp and the Everglades.
The area is managed and protected by a unique public-private partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Ducks Unlimited. This partnership, known as the Cache River Wetlands Joint Venture, has a broad vision of restoring the integrity of the Cache River system establishing a goal to restore over 60,000 acres along the Cache River and its major tributaries. The partnership along with other resource agencies, organizations and citizens are working to restore the Cache River to a level of structure and function that would ensure a self-sustaining river-floodplain system.
Areas of Interest within the Cache River Wetlands Joint Venture
National Wildlife Refuge - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Cache River State Natural Area - Illinois Department of Natural
Grassy Slough Preserve - The Nature Conservancy
For additional information about other natural areas and highlights throughout southern Illinois, check out the Local Information page.
Cache River Nature Fest 2013 will take place out of the Cache River Wetlands Center. The 7,000 square-foot interpretive center, owned and operated by the Illinois DNR, and is supported by the Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge and The Nature Conservancy. Here, visitors may acquire information on agency partners, recreation opportunities, and habitat restoration projects currently underway. The center provides visitors with a wealth of information about the value of wetlands, the area's cultural and natural history and unique sites to explore. The facility includes a 2000 square foot exhibit area, a 725 square foot audio visual room and wildlife viewing area overlooking a wetland. Visitors are invited to learn about the history of the watershed along an impressive timeline in the exhibits. The timeline is full of fascinating local artifacts, has a video screen with five perspectives of the Cache River watershed, and audio sticks sharing local oral history. A twelve minute orientation film gives a wonderful overview and introduction of the watershed, explaining the unique bio-diversity of the flora and fauna that can be experienced here. Visitors can also acquaint themselves with the area by exploring an interactive diorama of a bald cypress-water tupelo swamp, two interactive touch screens featuring images of the Cache River watershed and migratory birds, area State champion tree information and changing landscape displays. The center also provides programs and activities to the general public throughout the year, emphasizing this historically rich and biologically diverse region of southern Illinois. Located south of White Hill on Illinois Route 37, the center is named for Henry N. Barkhausen, an industrialist and avid outdoorsman, who served as director of the Illinois Department of Conservation from 1970-73. He also served as a board member on a local citizens' committee to promote restoration and protection of the Cache River area.
To contact the Wetlands Center call (618) 657-2064, Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. The Wetlands Center is located at 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress, Illinois 62923, two miles north of the intersection of State Route 169 and 37; nine miles south of the intersection of State Route 146 and 37.
To reach the Cache River Wetlands Center from Vienna, IL, go West 5 miles on Route 146 from the intersection of Route 146 & US Route 45, turn left or South on Route 37, then 9 miles to Wetlands Center entrance - follow signs.