Saturday, June 04, 2011

Summer at Emiquon Began with the Lake Festival!

Summer has been speeding along here in the Emiquon valley. I haven't posted much, so my next few posts will be about the summer.

The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Lake Festival

After about a year of construction, the Emiquon Preserve hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new visitor use area off Route 78 and Route 97. Visitors to the preserve are now able to enjoy almost two miles of hiking trails, an area for launching boats and a floating canoe launch. The Lakeside Observatory extends out over the lake, with a pavilion and boardwalk. In addition, a long boardwalk stretches across the wetlands leading to the two-story Wetlands Observatory, complete with spotting scopes for watching wildlife.

TNC and its partners greeted their guests from the second level.



TNC and its partners manned booths that provided the public with additional information about the area and their activities.

Partners include: Dickson Mounds Museum, University of Illinois Springfield, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Emiquon Corp of Discovery, Illinois Natural History Survey, Havana Nature Center, The City of Lewistown, Emiquon Audubon, Mackinaw Valley Longriffle Association, Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway, The River Crossroads Restaurant, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and The Nature Conservancy’s Central Illinois Council.

Activities included canoeing in IDNR Voyageur canoes, hay rack rides and hands-on activities for the entire family.

A trolley carried visitors from the lake to other activities at Dickson Mounds Museum, UIS Therkildsen Field Station, and the village of Lewistown.

The visitor use areas is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Come for a visit, and experience the Emiquon wetland restoration for yourselves!