September 07, 2018

Trail Stewardship Days invite volunteers to help enhance Touch of Nature Environmental Center trails

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Each year countless people enjoy walking through the expansive Shawnee National Forest trail system at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

The center relies largely on the volunteer efforts of groups and individuals to keep the trails in good shape and to restore and expand them.

Help needed

A series of Trail Stewardship Days is planned this fall to continue the work. Trail work sessions are scheduled every Sunday from Sept. 9 through Nov. 4. The morning sessions run from 9 a.m. until noon and the afternoon sessions are 1-4 p.m. Volunteers can participate in one or both sessions on any day.

Touch of Nature staff will provide all of the necessary tools along with instructions regarding how to properly and safely use them. The facility is located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road.

Volunteer credit available

SIU students can earn community service, Saluki Volunteer Corps and Environmental Ambassador Award credit hours for their work on the trails.

Register in advance

All volunteers are asked to pre-register at least 48 hours before the session(s) they plan to attend. Additional details and registration are available online at Or, call 618/453-1121 or email