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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2000

Governor Ryan, DuQuoin Kids Dedicate New Wetlands Education Project

DUQUOIN -- Governor George H. Ryan today dedicated the new Wetlands Educational Project on the northeast corner of the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.

The 8-acre project, which features native Illinois prairie grasses and trees, will serve as an environmental education tool for students and teachers from across Southern Illinois.

"This Wetlands Educational Project will provide students now, and in the future, with hands-on opportunities to learn how to improve the environment, as well as valuable lessons about the importance of open land and conservation," said Ryan. "The wetlands was developed on a former surface mine and will also teach students about the history of mining and ongoing reclamation efforts that improve the environment."

The Wetlands Educational Project was developed as a joint effort by the departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and The Perry County Soil and Water Conservation District in conjunction with local school districts.

The project was initiated in November of 1999 and plant management commenced during Spring of 2000.

This wetland project will establish and enhance three important habitats -prairies, forests, and wetlands-which were once more abundant in Illinois.

The Governor was joined at the dedication by Jack Nawrot of SIU-C and the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Martha Morgenstern of the PCSWCD, Director of Agriculture Joe Hampton, Deputy Director of Natural Resources Richard Mottershaw, DuQuoin State Fair Manager Sammye C. Fark, and students from DuQuoin Middle School.

"It's wonderful to have the students with us today since our children and our children's children are the ones who will benefit from this project. They helped develop it, they will help maintain it and they will learn from it," Ryan added.



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