A Grand Opening and Open House for Creekside, Lincoln College’s Outdoor Center for Environmental Education, will be held Saturday, September 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The official ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 10 a.m. followed by tours, presentations about the Center’s various features, and demonstrations. Light refreshments will be served.

Creekside is an innovative 4-acre educational site recognized by the scientific community for its biological diversity and geological and archeological significance. The Center features a lecture pavilion, insectarium, greenhouse, restored tall grass prairie, native gardens, demonstration pond, solar and wind energy developments, storm water management and rain garden, nature trails and access to Sugar Creek near the location that Illinois’ largest wooly mammoth fossil was discovered in 2005.

Dr. Dennis Campbell, Lincoln College professor of life and earth sciences, has been utilizing the resources at Creekside in his course curriculum for several years, but hopes the Center will also become a community resource for environmental education and recreation.

“Creekside will meet the needs of the educational and scientific communities of Central Illinois, and serve as a living, breathing laboratory where students and teachers can bring real-world issues into focus, including global climate change, energy conservation, soil and water protection, native plant and wildlife rehabilitations. As well, Creekside is a convenient resource for low-impact outdoor recreation for the area’s citizens,” said Campbell.

Creekside is located along Sugar Creek, about five miles north of Lincoln. Directions:  From I-55, take Exit 133 toward Lincoln. Turn left onto North Lincoln Parkway and travel 3 miles. Turn right on 1250th Ave (Nicholson Rd) and travel 3.1 miles (passing over I-55, past the Epperson subdivision, and over Kickapoo Creek). Turn left on 2000th St (the second left after Kickapoo Creek) and travel about half a mile. Turn right onto the gravel road marked Small-Edwards Trace that leads to Creekside.