Shawnee Chapter IAS Annual Meeting and Presentation. Carbondale Civic Center July 13, 7PM

Graber & Graber Flier

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Program flier

Program Flier

Come gather ’round the fire at Trail of Tears State Forest on Monday April 18th at 7 pm for Shawnee Chapter Illinois Audubon Society’s annual Under the Stars program. This year we are lucky to have Dennis Stroughmatt and his program on Mussels, Moonshine, Music: Mississippi Migrants in the Twentieth Century.

Nationally recognized musician, cultural historian, storyteller and SIUC alum Dennis Stroughmatt will lead a voyage of discovery incorporating artifacts, folktales, and performances in river-based musical styles passed down from his mussel-shelling and river-working grandfather Chancy Stroughmatt’s generation. Dennis will invite audiences to visit the history of early-20th-century Illinois and even sing along to the music of the age.

In a time almost forgotten, the Midwest and upper South were home to thousands of Americans who lived and worked along or on the rivers as sharecroppers, fishermen, mussel shellers, button cutters, traveling minstrels, and even moonshiners. Work was their lives, and the work was hard. Although they were the backbone of industry in cities like Muscatine, Iowa, and Cairo, Illinois, they played too, enjoying the music of Memphis and St. Louis along their way.

This free public program will take place at the Trail of Tears State Forest located at 3240 State Forest Rd, Jonesboro. The State Forest is east of State Rte. 127, just north of Jonesboro. Turn into the picnic area directly across from the white barn and follow the signs. Be sure to dress for cool spring weather. Rustic seating will be provided but lawn chairs and flashlights are encouraged. If it rains, we’ll be under the historic picnic shelter with fireplaces a’ blazing.

Shawnee Chapter is the local chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society. Illinois Audubon has been helping to preserve Illinois’ flora and fauna since 1897. More information is available at

The program is made possible in part by Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program that provides organizations statewide with affordable, entertaining, and thought-provoking humanities events for their communities.


Feel free to contact me at: 618/457-6367, by email, or check the Shawnee Chapter website at

Hope to see you there!


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Shawnee Parkway – What The Heck Is It?

Shawnee Parkway Flier
Shawnee Parkway – What the heck is it?
The information below has been excerpted from the Citizens for Southern Illinois website. Please visit their site for more information:
Or join us at the meeting on Monday March 7th in Carbondale IL.

Shawnee Parkway Project–a new name for an OLD proposal! Citizens of southernmost Illinois have been fighting against the Illinois Department of Transportation’s proposal for a unneeded, unwanted high-speed, multi-lane highway through southernmost Illinois, which includes some our states most valuable and sensitive natural areas.

IDOT is calling the current version of this proposal the Shawnee Parkway Project. This time, rather than proposing an extension of Interstate 66 that would traverse the state from Paducah, Kentucky to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, IDOT is now proposing a highway that connects Rte 3 to Interstate 57. This is the tactic the Federal Highway Administration has used to build every segment of I-66. If the Shawnee Parkway were to be permitted and funded, it would only be a matter of time before the agencies return once again with plans to connect I-57 to I-24 in attempt to connect to I-66 in Kentucky.

The Citizens for Southernmost Illinois (CSI) have serious concerns with the purpose, planning and development of the “Shawnee Parkway.” The negative impacts simply outweigh any questionable benefits for the people who live and recreate here. We can’t afford to gamble away our remaining economic and natural resources. CSI is dedicated to promoting and protecting our rural lifestyle and the rich natural environment that is part of our home and livelihood.

Between the incompatibility with outdoor recreation, loss of tourism, the drain on the local economy, loss of private land and the huge amount of government financial waste, the impacts of this project are simply too many and too much.
Shawnee Chapter is opposed to the proposed Shawnee Parkway, and is sponsoring this informative meeting in order to help the public understand the issues, and learn how to get involved.

Information from the Illinois Department of Transportation on the proposed “Parkway” may be found at the official site for the Shawnee Parkway study:

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