Bike Menard County

During this time of uncertainty and crisis, many of us are feeling anxious and maybe a bit stir crazy. Most of us are spending way more time than usual watching television or pursuing other sedentary activities. Gyms are closed, yoga studios have gone dark, and not everyone has a dog to take on endless walks.

Fear not. Cycling is the cure for what ails you. There is no greater feeling of freedom than riding a bicycle down a country road on a warm, sunny day. Fortunately, solo biking is not only still allowed but encouraged. Those who are quarantined together can bike together as well. Bike shops are considered essential services and are still open in Illinois. Continue reading “Bike Menard County”

Earth Day 2020–50 Years of Celebrating the Planet

Menard County Trails & Greenways plans to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, albeit a little differently than we had planned. While we won’t be able to physically gather as friends and neighbors to help clean up Menard County, we can come together in the same spirit, do some good work around (or even inside!) our homes, and share our efforts virtually.

Public health experts and government leaders are encouraging us to safely get outdoors, underscoring more than ever the importance of our natural world to our health and well-being.  Let’s take a moment, however big or small, to return the favor.

We’ve started a list of ideas for honoring Earth Day that are “stay-at-home” friendly. Continue reading “Earth Day 2020–50 Years of Celebrating the Planet”

Sounds of Spring in Menard County

Pseudacris_feriarum-chorus frog

Upland chorus frogs (Pseudacris feriarum) are a familiar sound in spring in Illinois. Heard now near woodland ponds such as in the video here, they can even be heard in roadside ditches.  The occasional leopard frog can be heard among the chorus frogs, and soon we should be hearing the sweet melodic trill of the American toad.

Signs of Spring

Dicentra cucullaria

During this time of social distancing and sheltering in place, those of us who love exploring the out of doors and nature are the lucky ones. Spring is happening and every day brings new changes. Migrating songbirds are starting to arrive from the south, many trees are starting to show signs of first blooms and buds, and native wildflower foliage is pushing through the leaf litter.

What are you noticing?

Phlox divaricata
Phlox divaricata, the wild blue phlox, woodland phlox, or wild sweet William.
Stylophorum diphyllum
Stylophorum diphyllum, commonly called the celandine-poppy or woods-poppy.
Mertensia virginica
Mertensia virginica, common name Virginia bluebells.

MCTG Website Takes Flight


Please visit the new Menard County Trails & Greenways website! (Click on link below). The site features a Calendar, where MCTG events and related activities are posted; Ways to Discovery, where we’ve started to describe “trails & greenways” to explore; and MCTG Blog, where we will post news, information, photos, and other items of interest to outdoor enthusiasts.