Thursday, October 2

Group dinner at Thai Taste

Join the Shawnee Group for dinner at Thai Taste on Thursday, October 9 at 5pm, just before our monthly program.  Thai Taste is at 100 South Illinois Avenue in Carbondale.

October 9: Home Energy Efficiency program

October 9 program

Illinois Home Performance:  Energy Efficiency at Home

Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (IHP), a program sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, aims to help Illinois home and property owners decrease their energy costs and increase the comfort, safety, durability, and value of their homes.

Presenter Richard Reilly is the Energy Programs Manager of the Missouri Botanical Garden's Earth Ways Center and a construction professional with 30 years of experience.

The program will be held at the REAR entrance of 217 East Main Street in Carbondale, Illinois on Thursday, October 9 at 7:00 pm.  It is FREE and open to the public.  Parking and entrance are at the rear, through the green door, across from Rock Hill Baptist Church (Monroe and Marion Streets.)

Wild Weekend at Cypress Creek!

Wild Weekend
Friday, October 10, All Day
Location: Lower Cache Access
In celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge will provide guided canoe tours to Eagle Pond and highlight ancient cypress trees and wetland wildlife. Reservations are required for the canoe tour; reserve your spot beginning September 10th. For more information call Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge at (618) 634-2231.

Saturday, August 23

DAM NATION: Film, discussion will examine river science

DAM NATION:  Film, discussion will examine river science
CARBONDALE, Ill. – A Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduate student organization wants the community to consider life without dams.

IGERT, the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, teamed with Sierra Club: Shawnee Group, to bring the film “DamNation” to campus. The screening is from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Sept. 4, in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library. A reception will follow the movie.  Representatives from IGERT and the Sierra Club: Shawnee Group will introduce the film, and IGERT members and faculty will be available to discuss and answer questions about river science and politics. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

The award-winning documentary focuses on the role river dams play in the ecosystem, and advocates for dam removal, particularly in cases where the structure is in need of costly and extensive repair. The filmmakers argue that removing dams from once-flowing rivers restores salmon especially, but other wild fish as well. The filmmakers also examine the economic advantages to healthy rivers, and address perceived benefits of dams, including hydropower, flood control and municipal water supply.

For centuries dams have been built for flood control, irrigation, municipal water supply and power production. All these needs can now be met more effectively through conservation, improved technology and better planning, without the negative ecological impacts caused by blocking and degrading an entire watershed. Of the more than 80,000 dams monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, roughly 26,000 pose what the Corps labels a “high” or “significant” hazard.

Some dams no longer serve any useful purpose. All dams, despite their size, have a limited life span. Only 2,540 dams in the U.S. generate hydropower, producing approximately nine percent of U.S. energy supply.

Thursday, August 14

Wildflower Hikes
Participants will learn about the basics of plant identification, and will be provided handouts about plant identification terminology, field guides and web resources, and invasive species.  All of the hikes will start at 10:00am at the location indicated and will last up to 4 hours. No previous experience is necessary. Reservations are not required, but are encouraged. The hikes will be limited to the first 20 participants. To reserve your spot for any of the hikes, contact Chris Benda at Follow Chris on facebook at

August 24th:  Heron Pond Nature Preserve, Cache River SNA, Belknap, IL
Meet at nature preserve parking lot and trailhead

October 12th:  Piney Creek Nature Preserve, Chester, IL
Meet at nature preserve parking lot and trailhead

Monday, May 19

Seasons of the Serengeti: Wildflowers and Wildebeests

Many tourists have traveled to view the wildlife migration during the dry season, but few have seen the wildflowers that bloom in the wet season.  Presenter John Schwegman has visited the fabled Serengeti National Park in both seasons and will give us rarely seen glimpses of this African preserve. 

John Schwegman is a nature conservationist who is retired from a career with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  He is the former State Botanist and developed the agency’s Natural Areas program.  Later he implemented a native plant conservation program for Illinois.  John and his wife Martha reside near Metropolis.

The program will be held at the REAR entrance of 217 East Main Street in Carbondale on Thursday, June 12 at 7:00 pm.  It is FREE and open to the public.  Parking and entrance are at the rear, across from Rock Hill Baptist Church (Monroe and Marion Streets.)

Thanks to the organizers, volunteers, customers, and our supplier, Missouri Wildflower Nursery who all contributed to making the first annual Native Plant Sale, sponsored by the Sierra Club in Carbondale, a wildly successful event. Missouri Wildflower Nursery arrived with a pickup truck and trailer full of plants - enough to fill eleven six foot tables. We opened at 8 am, and by 1 pm we were just about sold out. Duncan loaded his truck with six unsold plants and a lot of empty flats. Ruth Kelley Program Chair, Shawnee Group