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Hidden away in Southern Illinois is one of Nature's masterpieces.  

Events & Activities

🦋 Printer Friendly Calendar

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, events and programs are may be canceled in order to help protect public health. While we encourage you to continue enjoying the Cache, please make sure you Recreate Responsibly! Remember to socially distance yourself from others, wear a face covering when distancing isn't available, practice proper hygiene and stay home if you are sick. Please monitor for local public health advisories, orders and closures as they may occur.

You are cordially invited to come celebrate the dedication of Heron Pond - Wildcat Bluff as an Illinois Nature Preserve!

Please register for the event at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heron-ponds-50th-anniversary-celebration-tickets-244077822337


The Cache River wetlands in southern Illinois represent the northernmost extent of North America’s vast Coastal Plain physiographic province. However, only ten percent of the original extent of the Cache River’s swamps and bottomland forests remain, and an even smaller fraction still resembles its historical condition.

For the diverse native species that call it home and the many people who have witnessed its splendor, Heron Pond hearkens back to the wilderness of the original Cache River swamps. Thanks to the efforts of local citizens, conservationists, and government agencies, this remarkable ecological legacy has been protected as an Illinois Nature Preserve since 1971.


We welcome you to celebrate 50 years of permanent protection for Heron Pond and its upland counterpart, Wildcat Bluff, on Saturday, April 9, 2022.


This one-day event is hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, Friends of the Cache River Watershed, and Friends of the Illinois Nature Preserves. Event highlights include informational talks by pivotal figures in the acquisition, protection, and early management of this unique site; a juried art exhibit; and field tours of Heron Pond and Wildcat Bluff. Please join us for this celebration of our irreplaceable natural heritage!


More details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heron-ponds-50th-anniversary-celebration-tickets-244077822337

For more information concerning programs phone 618-657-2064. Unless otherwise listed, all programs are at the Cache River State Natural Area, Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress, IL.


Please note that, while all programs are free of charge, some do require advance registration, as indicated. New programs may be added throughout the year. For the latest updates visit Department of Natural Resources: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov , see Events & Activities, or coming events or Cache River S.N.A. site page, or visit Friends of the Cache River Watershed web site or Facebook.