View stars and planets at 34th Annual Astronomy Jamboree

ARGENTA -- Explore the night sky during the 34th annual Astronomy Jamboree at Friends Creek Conservation Area on Saturday, August 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Enjoy live acoustic music by Ashley Riley from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. then view the stars and visible planets through telescopes. We'll have free hot dogs and marshmallows for roasting and a craft for children. You're welcome to bring your own telescope(s) too and share your knowledge. Admission is free, but be sure to register online by noon on August 24 at

You may continue your stargazing experience by staying the night at Friends Creek Campground. Electric sites ($17 for Macon County residents and $20 non-residents) and non-electric sites ($10 for Macon County residents and $12 non-residents) are available. Reserve your campsite by calling 217-423-7708. Space is limited.

Friends Creek Conservation Area is located at 13734 Friends Creek Park Rd., Argenta, IL. To get to Friends Creek from Decatur, go northeast on Route 48 for 11 miles and turn left onto Friends Creek Park Road. Parking is available.

Conservation District hosting trip to St. Louis Zoo

DECATUR -- Explore wildlife and conservation issues from across the globe during a trip to the St. Louis Zoo hosted by the Macon County Conservation District.

This van trip will be Saturday, August 18, departing from Rock Springs Nature Center at 10 a.m. and returning at 6 p.m. The trip is open to all ages. A fee of $25/person covers transportation and parking. General admission to the zoo is free, but some special shows have fees. Must pre-register online by noon on August 17 at

Rock Springs Conservation Area is located on the southwestern edge of Decatur. To get to Rock Springs from Decatur, go south on Route 48 and turn west onto Rock Springs Road or go south on Wyckles Road and turn east onto Rock Springs Road. Watch for signs. Plenty of parking is available.

Dog hike at Fort Daniel Conservation Area

DECATUR -- There’s no better hiking companion than man’s best friend! Bring your dog for guided hike at Fort Daniel Conservation Area on Sunday, August 19 at 2 p.m.

We’ll learn how to hike safely with our pets and share hiking tips on this dog hike. Then, enjoy a walk on Fort Daniel’s wooded trails with our furry friends. Dogs must be leashed and friendly around other dogs and people. This program is free and for all ages. Must pre-register online by noon on August 17 at

Fort Daniel Conservation Area is located 15 minutes east of downtown Decatur, at 4975 Fort Daniel Rd. To get to Fort Daniel from Decatur, go east on US 36, turn right onto 85th St., and right onto Fort Daniel Rd. Watch for signs. Parking is available.

Road work at Rock Springs Nature Center

DECATUR -- Road work will be taking place around Rock Springs Nature Center beginning Monday, August 13. The Macon County Conservation District will be resealing and restriping the Rock Springs Nature Center parking lot and Nearing Lane, which leads from Brozio Lane up to the Nature Center. Work should conclude by the end of the week, weather depending.

Rock Springs Conservation Area and its Nature Center will remain open during that time. Simply follow posted signs to designated parking areas. For more information about the Conservation District, visit


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