The Shawnee National Forest is located in the southern part of Illinois.
Where is this Forest?


Learning Center

Throughout the year, the Shawnee National Forest works to educate the public on our natural resources and their management.   Through a variety of programs the Forest’s goal is to connect people with their natural surroundings in order to build a sense of stewardship for the land.    

Educational topics include non-native invasive species, wilderness, trails, forestry, protection of heritage resources, wetland restoration, aquatic ecosystems, wildlife, outdoor safety and the mission of the Forest Service.    National education programs are also promoted such as Smokey Bear and Wildfire Prevention, Woodsy Owl and Land Stewardship and the Leave No Trace curriculum in classroom visits, school field trips, and public interpretive programs throughout the year at fairs, recreation sites and other large events.  For more information or to request a program, see the

Getting into the great outdoors and enjoying your national forest is a lot of fun.  Before venturing outdoors be sure to visit the Outdoor Safety & Ethics Page for tips on how to prepare for a safety and enjoyable visit.

Just For Kids

Smokey Bear

Discover the Forest



2014 Programs and Events

Calendar of Events 

Non-Native Invasive Species Presentation - May 8th - at Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center


Events Offered by our Partners

 Illinois Indigenous Plant Symposium - March 21st - 23rd.  At John A. Logan College. Register through the University of IL. Extension: Registration deadline: March 18th.

 Photography for Beginners - Begins April 2014 - Giant City State Park; includes 4 classes. For ages:

Parents & Teachers

Throughout the year Forest Service staff and our natural resource partners offer a variety of educational workshops open to the public.  If you are a formal/non-formal educator, student, volunteer, or parent interested in gaining environmental education tips and tools, check out the programs, workshops and resources below.  

Naturalist in the Classroom

Naturalist in the Classroom (NIC) is a combination of classroom programs followed by a fieldtrip to the Shawnee National Forest; all guided by natural resource professionals. 

The goals for NIC are three-fold: To strengthen and expand the Shawnee’s environmental education program, to get kids in the outdoors, and to assist local educators in meeting Illinois learning standards.  In 2014 the target grades that NIC is being offered are 3rd , 4th , and 5th grade students, and teachers have a choice of two program themes -Forest Ecology and Wetland Ecology.  Fall application deadline is September 5, 2014.  For more information download the NIC Registration packet or contact: Sue Hirsch (618) 253-1005 or Linda Hauser (618) 833-8576

2014 Spring Workshops

Bird Sleuth Ambassador Workshop - March 29th - at Shawnee NF Headquarters -Harrisburg, IL. - Registration deadline Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

Invasive Species Education Workshop - May 21st - Jonesboro, IL. from 3:00 to 6:00pm


Other Resources

Forest Service National Conservation Education website

Southern IL. Environmental Education Contacts & Resource List

Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources Education website

Non-Native Invasive Species  OR  Invasive Species

National Environmental Education Foundation


Woodsy Owl