The Land Conservation Foundation sponsored its Third Annual Mudpuppy Festival on Feb. 1 at the Monarch Brewery in Monticello, the host for this event. Through a proclamation by Monticello Mayor Larry Stoner, Saturday, Feb. 1 was named Mudpuppy Day in Monticello.

Approximately 300 people attended this afternoon event, including over 75 children of all ages. There were many kids’ activities focused on the Sangamon River and its wildlife, including mussels, birds, pollinators, and the state threatened mudpuppy, an aquatic salamander that is an indicator of high water quality.

Children had an opportunity to complete mudpuppy crafts and a scavenger hunt, have their wildlife passports stamped, faces painted, and to “fish” for prizes.

Leslie Heath, a Land Conservation Foundation Board Director said, “it is exciting to see children having fun while learning about the wonders of nature that surrounds them”.

Helping the Land Conservation Foundation with the event were Monarch Brewing Company, University of Illinois Extension, Master Naturalists; Champaign County Audubon Society, Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and the many other volunteers for their assistance in making this event a huge success.

The Land Conservation Foundation is a not for profit organization that is committed to preserving local natural areas for wildlife…for people…forever. It owns the Sangamon River Corridor Reserve, located just outside of Monticello, and three other local natural areas.