#OptOutside Two Preserve Challenge

As if you need more reasons to get outside this weekend, we're offering one more. In support of the nationwide movement to #OptOutside the day after Thanksgiving, we're giving away gear to anyone who hikes TWO of our preserves on Friday. We'll call it the Two Preserve Challenge. I know... creative, right? Why #OptOutside 2020

New Year’s Eve Guided Hike

ParkLands Lexington Preserve J5MW+8M, Lexington

Note:  This event was originally scheduled for January 1st, 2021 but was rescheduled due to weather. What better way to bring in the new year than time outside?  Join us at Lexington Preserve on December 31st for a guided hike through one of our best-kept secrets.  From a prairie wildflower garden to hulking bottomland trees,

Guided Cross-country Ski and Snowshoe at Chinquapin South

ParkLands Chinquapin Bluffs South Gate JVXH+C9, Carlock

  Whether you're a first time skier or a seasoned expert, join us Saturday February 20th for a cross-country adventure through one of central Illinois' finest landscapes.   Admission covers ski rental from WildCountry in Normal (optional), guidance from experienced skiers, refreshments afterwards, and fundraising support for the ParkLands Foundation.  Snowshoes are also available by choice

Earth Day Volunteer Challenge

        The ParkLands Foundation’s first annual Earth Day Volunteer Challenge (April 22 - 25) aims to raise ecological awareness and make a collective impact on protecting the natural heritage of central Illinois.  Approximately 10 teams of 10 volunteers will compete across numerous ParkLands preserves to remove the most invasive plants, preserving the

Merwin Wildflower Walk

ParkLands Merwin Preserve NORTH gate M496+HG, Lexington

A spring favorite is back!  Local naturalists, including ISU Distinguished Professor Emeritus, botanist, ecologist, and ParkLands legend Roger Anderson, will lead guided tours of Merwin Preserve's vibrant spring wildflowers on Saturday, May 1st.  Four sessions are available: 10:00am, 10:15am, 10:30am, and 10:45am. Register Here!  

Volunteer Workday – Weston Cemetery Prairie

Weston Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve Weston

Remove invasive sweet clover from the last 5 acres of original tallgrass prairie in McLean County .  Please bring water, work gloves, sturdy shoes and long pants.  Registration is limited to 10 volunteers due to limited parking and no trails at the preserve. Sign up to volunteer!   For more information: About Weston Cemetery Prairie

Night Event – members only

ParkLands Letcher Basin Land & Water Reserve JRWR+VG, Secor

                                          Register here!   Admission is $5 per person to help cover cost and support the foundation.  Registration is limited to 20 guests per group, or 40 total guests.  This event is for ParkLands members

Bike Ride Volunteers

Help ensure our annual bike ride is a safe and fun experience for all! We need around 10 volunteers at each of two rest stops to accommodate COVID-19 safety measures, such as separate food and water/Gatorade tables. Volunteers will handle all food and drink for the cyclists to minimize touches, while also frequently sanitizing the

4th Annual Bike Ride

Lexington Park District Pavilion 304 N. Lee St., Lexington

Save the date for our most popular event!  Supported out-and-back rides of varying lengths depart Lexington, IL and follow the Mackinaw River Valley to highlight the areas unique landscape, including several ParkLands preserves. For more information and sign-up visit parklandsfoundation.org/bikeride

Volunteer Workday – Sweeney Woods

ParkLands Sweeney Woods Preserve Google Maps: M3G5+W8, Lexington

Help fight back against woody brush invading the biodiversity of Sweeney Woods!  Involves some physical activity navigating unlevel ground, using loppers/handsaws, and handheld herbicide sprayers.  Please bring water, work gloves, sturdy shoes and long pants. Sign up to volunteer!   For more information: About Sweeney Woods About invasive brush removal How to identify silver maple trees

Volunteer Workday – Merwin Preserve

ParkLands Merwin Preserve NORTH gate M496+HG, Lexington

Help fight back against invasive woody brush such as bush honeysuckle and autumn olive from our community's most beloved preserve.  Involves some physical activity navigating unlevel ground, using loppers/handsaws, and handheld herbicide sprayers.  Please bring water, work gloves, sturdy shoes and long pants. Sign up to volunteer!   For more information: About Merwin Preserve About bush

Tale of Two Prairies

ParkLands Letcher Basin Land & Water Reserve JRWR+VG, Secor

Two different prairies, two different ecosystems, one story of conservation.  Join us for a morning comparing two high-quality examples of Illinois' most famous landscape; prairie. Guided hikes will start at either Ridgetop Hill Prairie Nature Preserve or Letcher Basin Land & Water Reserve, and switch halfway through.  A hayrack trailer will be used to tour