The Kennekuk
Environmental Education Center

Providing for Our Outdoor Heritage

20150213_102223 modified

Proposed Kennekuk Environmental Educaiton and Conference Center at completion

The Vermilion County Conservation District is known for its conservation educaiton for people of all ages, but is best known for providing fourth and fifth grade students with a program called outdoor school.  More than 65,000 students from surrounding counties have graduated from this program since 1972.  The program introduces students ot the forest, wild life, streams, ponds, prairie and habitats.

Plans for Phases 1-3

  • Phase I-Two classrooms are built temporarily in what will be the kitchen area.  Staff offices, a staff kitchen, basement, reception area and partial restrooms are completed.   (Currently being used)
  • Phas II and III-Classrooms are permanently located on the west side of the center.  A permanent museum, roof garden/prairie is completed. The main hallway and timber framed conference room is completed.  The conference room will hold 500 sit-down guests with the capability to divide the area into four smaller rooms.

Kennekuk Environmental Education Center-front view


Kennekuk Environmental Education Center-Phase I completed and being utilized currently

Detail and Interior Views of Phase I Project

Proposed Phase II and III Views


Notable Partnerships

  • VCCD Foundation-purchased 11 acres of woodlands adjacent to the Forest Glen entrance that was contingent on the purchase of the 107 acres of farm land.  This 11 acres serves as a buffer for teh Duffin Woods Nature Preserve, which is home to several threatened and endangered species.
  • Wheeler Foundation-provided $20,000 funding for an all-accessiblew nature trail at the education center site.  This was a requirement for the OSLAD grant.  Local Scouts built three observation decks on the all-accessible trail.
  • Kennekuk Road Runners and local antique car clubs-joined forces with the VCCFoundation’s “Cheeseburgers and Fun” event in August with all proceeds going to the education center.

Recreational/Tourism Impacts

  • The proposed 24-mile Kickapoo Trail will stretch from Urbana to Kickapoo State Park to Kennekuk County Park and will terminate at the Kennekuk Environmental Education Center, then being the eastern trail head.
  • The U.S. Department of the Interior has given permission that the Education Center be the “official headquarters” of the Middle Fork Scenic River.
  • The Collins Site, a state historic site, is a native American Village with burial sites (mounds) just north of the Education Center.  Artifacts date this settlement to the same period as Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois.
  • The Kennekuk Marsh complex lies to the north of the Education Center.  Each Spring 80 acres of connecting ponds that comprise the marsh are home to many waterfowl species and other wildlife, including the river otter.

How You Can Support the Future of the
Kennekuk Environmental Education
and Conference Center

Kennekuk Environmental Education Center naming rights and room sponsorship options:

Complete Building Naming Rights
Total project costs: $6-million
1. 50% for naming rights: $3-million
2. Length: 25 years
3. $120,000 yearly payments

“Ruth Hickman Hall” is available for
plantinum (donations of $25,000+)
gold (donations of $10,000-$24,999)
silver (donations of $5,000-$9,999)
bronze (donations of $1,000-$4,999)

Conference Center Naming Rights
Project costs: $1-million
1. Length: 25 years
2. $40,000 yearly payments

If no overall conference center sponsor:
1. Naming rights for the four individual partitioned sections
2. Names would appear above the door leading to each room
(until they are named-they will be called A, B, C and D)
3. Length: 25 years
4. $100,000 cost or $4,000 annually

Roof Garden Naming Rights
Project cost: $500,000
1. Length: 25 years
2. $20,000 yearly payments

Remaining Rooms

Exhibit Room
1. Cost: $250,000
2. Length: 25 years
3 $10,000 yearly payments

Class Rooms
1. Cost: $25,000
2. Length: 25 years
3. $1,000 yearly payments

Default Clause: If a sponsor defaults on the annual payment of the multi-year contract, the contract is null and void, and the sponsor’s name will be removed from the facility.

For more information and additional details
call the District Office at (217) 662-2142

20301 E. 900 N. Road
Westville, IL 61883
email: vccd @