General Information


Recreational Opportunities

Conservation Education

Forestry Research

Historic Areas


Prairies/Native Plants



Maple Syrup

Shiitake Mushrooms

Herb Garden

National Scenic River

Illinois Nature Preserves

Fees/Rental Information


Vermilion Co. Conservation Foundation


The V.C.C.D. maintains a vast system of wetlands called the "Kennekuk Marshes". A cooperative among the V.C.C.D., Vermilion Co. Audubon Society, and the Vermilion County Conservation District Foundation, the first system of dikes were constructed in the early 1980's. Since then a Ducks Unlimited grant was procured to flood more acreage.

Heron County Park

Wetlands are one of the most endangered habitats throughout the country. Wetlands continue to be drained to make room for future development. The Kennekuk Marshes are a system of several connecting ponds that inundate nearly thirty acres of water during the spring rainy season. Water levels remain until waterfowl fledge their young in late spring. During the drought months, water levels may  be reduced to under fifteen acres.

The Kennekuk Marshes offer excellent wildlife viewing. Many species of ducks can be seen as well as Canada goose, great blue herons, egrets, and hawks. Mammals may include raccoons, deer, fox, muskrat, beaver, and possibly the river otter.

The Kennekuk Marshes are used during the Outdoor School program for pond study. It was also the focal point for the Wetlands Teacher Workshop sponsored by the Illinois State Museum in 1996. An observation blind can seat twenty-five school children so wildlife may be viewed in seclusion.

For more information on the Kennekuk Marshes, call 217-442-1691


The wetlands consists of dead trees (snags) that were killed by flooding. Tree species were green ash and cottonwood.

Duckweed forms a green mat during the summer months.

The 950 foot walkway winds its way through the wetlands.

Phase II of the walkway, before the handrails were installed.

A great blue heron rookery is located several hundred yards south of the boardwalk.

Young may viewed in the nests in late May and early June with the aid of binoculars or spotting scopes.

Wetlands habitats form a diverse community for plant and animal life.

The wetland boardwalk allows visitors the opportunity to experience a wetland close-up.

Wetland Boardwalk