September 16, 2019

Sign up now for Pick Up and Paddle at SIU’s Touch of Nature Sept. 28

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Pick Up and Paddle is a two-pronged event giving people the opportunity to do something nice for Mother Nature and enjoy some of the amenities she offers.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center is collaborating with the SIUC Student Sustainability Coalition and the United States Forest Service to celebrate National Public Lands Day with the special event on Sept. 28. 

Outdoor activity planned

The day begins with paddling on Devil’s Kitchen Lake followed by a hike in the Panther Den wilderness area of the Shawnee National Forest.

An experiential service project will follow, including rehabilitating areas impacted by campfires, picking up litter, and removing any graffiti that may be present. As they go, participants will learn more about Leave No Trace outdoor ethics and skills as well as how to best care for the nation’s public lands.

Touch of Nature will provide canoes, paddles and personal flotation devices. Kelly Pearson of the U.S. Forestry Service will also provide needed equipment and supplies. The Student Sustainability Council will lead the stewardship activities.

Catch the bus

Transportation will be provided to Touch of Nature from the SIU Student Center. The bus will leave the parking lot at 8:30 a.m. and return at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Participants should bring a lunch and water and wear long pants, hard-soled or hiking boots or tennis shoes, dressing appropriately for working in the forest.

Register now

Everyone is welcome to participate at no cost, but due to logistics, registration is limited. To sign up for Pick Up and Paddle, or for more information, email The 14 slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.