September 28, 2016

Touch of Nature offers monthly event series

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A new monthly event series at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center offers all the makings of a great time for the whole family: a campfire, special entertainment and the chance for visitors to experience the great outdoors as they learn more about it.

Hootin’ Annies kicks off from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 at Touch of Nature’s Upper 40 Cabin and everyone is welcome to attend the free program. Michael Bush, author and nationally known beekeeper, will talk about bees and natural beekeeping and the house band, Short Face Bear and the Woodland Creatures, will play.

Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating as well as any beverages and snacks they desire and even roasting sticks to use in fixing campfire snacks.  There will also be a musical jam session around the campfire after the program and anyone can bring an instrument and join the fun.

Touch of Nature is located along the shore of Little Grassy Lake about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. The Upper 40 Cabin is about 1.5 miles south of the main entrance and signs will mark the way from there.

Event organizers say the Hootin’ Annies programs are designed to provide campus and community members with fun evenings highlighting a variety of environmental themes. Programs will be held the second Saturday evening of each month; future dates include Nov. 12 and Dec. 10. The locations within the center’s grounds will vary, depending upon the programming. Watch for information about future programs.

While each of the programs is free, donations in support of Touch of Nature’s environmental education program are welcome.

For more information, contact Steve Gariepy at 618/453-1121 or by email at

Learn more about the numerous programs, facilities and services at Touch of Nature Environmental Center online at, by calling 618/453-1121 or by emailing