Now that the area is in Tier One of covid-19 safety protocols, the Anita Purves Nature Center will open for free guided tours beginning January 25.
Households of up to eight need to call the nature center at (217) 384-4062 between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., to sign up for a 45-minute tour.
Savannah Donovan, Environmental Public Program Coordinator, says people will notice new things when they come for a tour. “Nature center staff are excited to unveil a brand-new interactive video exhibit called Talk A Walk,” Donovan said. She added, “Many other exhibits are new or have been updated since the nature center was last open to the public. But the basic themes explored at the nature center haven't changed. Exhibits still focus on local nature, wildlife, plants, and geology.”
And, Anita Purves Nature Center is covid-19 safe. Donovan explained, “The nature center's main exhibit hall, the Field Station, has undergone a complete overhaul with new interpretive posters, safe interactive items and a complete cleaning protocol which will be followed before and after each tour. Everyone must wear masks inside the nature center, sanitize their hands, and maintain safe social distancing. We will give staff and visitors a basic health screening and temperature checks when they arrive.”
People who visit the nature center can explore the Field Station and Wildlife Observation Room. A naturalist will be there to help guide them and answer any questions.
Friendship Grove Nature Playscape and Busey Woods remain open and free for everyone to visit without having to make an appointment. But Donovan reminds everyone to practice social distancing during their visit.
“We are excited to open the nature center to the public,” Donovan said. She concluded, “Everyone belongs here and we invite them to call 384-4062 and set up a time to visit.”