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

Monday, May 12

Sierra Club Native Plant Sale! Saturday, May 17 8 am til 3 pm Town Square Pavillion 100 North Illinois (near intersection of US 51 North and Hwy 13 West) Carbondale, Illinois Large selection of plants native to southern Illinois – hardy, beautiful, pollinator friendly, and low maintenance. Most plants priced at $3 and $6. We will have around 1000 plants of many species, including perennial wildflowers, grasses trees, shrubs, and vines for shade and sun. There will also be plants for rain gardens (moist to wet soil).

Monday, March 31

Sierra Club outing April 6 at 12:30 pm!

Shawnee Group outings are about to resume! New Outings Leader Christine Crites will lead her first hike on Sunday, April 6th on the Marshall Ridge Trail (2.8 miles - Beginner) with the option to continue on to the Heron Pond Trail. Meet at 12:30 at the big sign at the Murdale Shopping Center in Carbondale (on Rt. 13). Wear sturdy shoes, bring water and a snack. If you would like to hike with the Sierra Club at Marshall Ridge, contact Christine Crites at to sign up for the hike (REQUIRED), or for further information. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! BRING A FRIEND!

Monday, September 16

Camp Ondessonk Weekend in the Shawnee Forest of Southern Illinois

Join Piasa Palisades Group Sierrans for a weekend at Camp Ondessonk
November 1-3, 2013

The Piasa Palisades Group invites you to join them for a Camp Ondessonk getaway. Camp Ondessonk, located in Johnson County in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest, offers access to beautiful trails with dramatic sandstone bluffs. It is also close to many other favorite places in the Shawnee including Bell Smith Springs, Jackson Hollow and Burden Falls.

Piasa Palisades Group will be staying in the “dorms,” which have heat and electricity, access to bathrooms with showers, and a fire pit.

The cost is $11.50 per person per night. Meals on your own. Optional exploratory hikes.

Some have expressed an interest in staying in St Noel. That is $100 per night per room plus $25 per night for every extra person over four.

For more information, contact Carol Klinger at or call 618-288-5630.

Saturday, September 7

Fall Weekend Get-away Hikes

Fall Weekend Get Away Hikes in Shawnee National Forest Date: Friday, October 11, 2013 to Sunday, October 13, 2013 Presented by: River Prairie Group Leader: Jan Bradford - 847-455-2947 Level: Moderate (advanced beginner) Location: Murphysboro, IL 62966, USA Come join us for a hike in the LaRue Pine Hills bluffs and the snake migration road that is closed every spring and fall on Satur-day and Little Grand Canyon hike on Sun-day. Elevation on this hike is around 400' so hikers must be in good physical condition. On both days naturalist Ed Max will be with us to identify plants and trees that are unique to this area. This is a lodge based weekend you won't want to miss. Leader Jan Bradford and Naturalist Ed Max. Limit 10-20 cost will be around $160 for two nights lodging and fees. We will go out Saturday night for a group supper together. Contact Jan Bradford at 847-455-2947 NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO HIKE WITHOUT LODGING COST IS $3 PER DAY - All are welcome for the group supper Saturday night. Please contact leader.