First Naturally Illinois Expo Draws Crowd

Attendees examine the core from the ISGS borehole On Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, 2009, The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center joined forces to present the first Naturally Illinois Expo of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability. The new event expanded and replaced the ISGS Open House.

Well over 2,500 teachers, students, families, and other visitors attended the two-day event, which featured 42 exhibits and interactive activities conducted by over 100 Institute staff volunteers. Among this year's new exhibits were borehole drilling and geophysics demonstrations, groundwater activities, climate and weather displays, and informative exhibits on Illinois insects, mushrooms, arthropods, and mussels. Examples of new technologies and tips on going "green" were featured also. Finally, some ISGS classics—the Kids' Fossil Dig, Build Illinois, Ice Age glacial models, and others—continued to be crowd pleasers. On Saturday morning, 120 runners and walkers turned out for the second ISGS Earth, Wind, and Fire 5K Run and 2.5K Walk.

This successful outreach event could not have been held without the participation of staff volunteers, students, the INHS Mobile Science Center, the Illinois Petroleum Resource Board, and private donors.