Field Trips for Grown ups!
“Field Trips for Grown Ups” is designed to provide a unique educational series of short field trips to interesting places. It’s like Nature’s Graduate School without exams. Tours will be held rain or shine. There are covered venues for parts of the tours, but dress appropriately for the weather as daytime presentations will be outdoors. This is a great opportunity to learn about the area’s rich history and ask the experts. The two day tour packages include: two nights of lodging at your choice of two excellent venues, two lunches on the tour, two dinners at the area’s premier restaurants and tour beverages. For pricing and information please call 217.652.8827. See short tour videos at VisitMenardCounty.com or check out Facebook #Visit Menard County.
Trees & History Tour
The first tour includes a walking tour of a much renowned research and teaching facility known worldwide for the study of trees. Starhill Forest Arboretum is home to 50 acres of rolling, diverse land including hills, creeks and slopes facing all directions as well as level land. Starhill Forest has 2,500 documented types of trees and shrubs and includes the most comprehensive living oak collection in North America. In addition, you’ll see prairie plants, pollinator species, habitats for birds and other wildlife, more than two dozen original tree cultivars, and a historic tool collection. Founded in 1976 by Guy and Edie Sternberg, Starhill Forest Arboretum was the first of more than 1,000 arboreta worldwide to be certified by the International accrediting system ArbNet. Other stops include: Riverbank Lodge, to see the ortet tree of the Riverbank Oak; Oakland Cemetery, with some giant trees and the historical account of the cemetery founding and the second grave of Ann Rutledge; Lincoln’s New Salem to explore some of the original trees that are believed to have come from Lincoln’s birthplace; Wayside Park, a “Y” intersection area with a champion tree and the first highway beautification project in Illinois; Farmers Point Cemetery to find the grave of Lincoln’s teacher; and nearby Farmers Point school, a restored one-room schoolhouse. The afternoon will be at Starhill Forest (Tours Aug 1, 12, 15, and 19).
Central Illinois Landscape History Tour
It is difficult to judge a book by its cover. The level to rolling topography and expansive cultivation of central Illinois obscures a landscape with a dynamic geological and vegetational history. Overlay human history—at the least 12,000 years and counting for Native Americans, and the arrival of EuroAmericans in the early 19th century—and you have the ingredients of an educational adventure.
Illinois at the equator, the Mississippi River flowing near Havana, glacial meltwater carving the Salt Creek/Sangamon River valley, ancient Native American towns and sacred mounds, all chapters of central Illinois history. Explore the evidence for these stories and more on a RiverBank Lodge adventure this summer.
Evidence of only the most recent events is visible on the ground surface today, but with the help of illustrative material, he will chronicle the last 300 million years of this area. During this vast expanse of time, the land that we know as Illinois has migrated from a position near the equator to its present position. By the way, it is still moving, albeit very slowly to the north and west.
Illinois has been shaped by the advance and retreat of oceans and ice, tectonic activity, and the inexorable erosive and accumulative effects of wind and precipitation, and more recently, and perhaps as dramatically as natural
forces, it has been shaped by humans.
Dr. Michael Wiant, Director Emeritus, Illinois State Museum—Dickson Mounds, will lead the tour and has prepared a field guide for participants. You’ll be amazed at his knowledge of the geology, the river systems and life along the river by humans and animals during the past 12,000 years. He will be glad to answer the questions you’ve often wondered about.
More on Trees & History Tours
Guy Sternberg of Starhill Forest Arboretum will be hosting several tours of notable trees and historic locations in Menard County. This is your chance to see some state and county record trees, historic trees, and the largest living oak collection in the United States at Starhill Forest Arboretum. It’s also a great chance to ask your questions about trees that you care about.
There also are research specimens including a “cookie” or cross section cut from an oak next to Lincoln’s tomb that had been the last living witness to Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, specimens from other historic and unusual trees, and a display of historic farm-and-forest tools.
Guy Sternberg is the co-founder of Starhill Forest Arboretum, along with his wife Edie, which began in 1976. He earned his degree from Purdue University in Landscape Architecture, is credentialed as a certified arborist, registered landscape architect, adjunct research associate in botany for the Illinois State Museum, and adjunct faculty in biology with Illinois College. He has lectured or consulted for numerous state and national agencies, universities and foundations. He is also a founding member of the Illinois Native Plant Society, and the founding president of the International Oak Society with members from 35 countries worldwide. His other life memberships include the International Dendrology Society, the International Society of Arboriculture, and American Forests. He is an
author whose latest book, Native Trees of North America, will be available at the end of the tour for those interested.
About the Speakers
Guy Sternberg earned his degree from Purdue University in Landscape Architecture, is credentialed as a certified arborist, registered landscape architect, adjunct research associate in botany for the Illinois State Museum, and adjunct faculty in biology with Illinois College. He has lectured or consulted for numerous state and national agencies, universities and foundations. He is also a founding member of the Illinois Native Plant Society, and the founding president of the International Oak Society with members from 35 countries worldwide. His other life memberships include the International Dendrology Society, the International Society of Arboriculture, and American Forests. He is an author whose latest book, Native Trees of North America, will be available at the end of the tour for
For more than 50 years, Dr. Michael Wiant has explored Native American history in Illinois. Encouraged as an undergraduate to take a course in archaeology, Wiant shifted the focus of his education to anthropology and archaeology. Along the way, he spent summers excavating-first a Revolutionary War fort in New York-and then ancient Native American settlements, mostly in the Illinois River valley. Archaeologists often work with other scientists-botanists, geologists, and zoologists, among others-to reconstruct a wholistic perspective of the past, and Wiant’s interests expanded to include landscape history. His education continued while working at the Illinois State Museum for 35 years, and retirement has not diminished his curiosity about the course of Native American history, which provides perspective on the development of human culture worldwide.
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Details you’ll want to know..
While this is a two day tour package, you may also choose either one.
Trees & History Tour 2022 August 1, 12, 15 & 19
Central IL Landscape History Tour 2022 August 2, 11, 16 & 18
FOR RESERVATIONS OR INFO: CALL (217) 652-8827
CENTRAL ILLINOIS LANDSCAPE HISTORY TOUR
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TREES & LANDSCAPE TOUR
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