Dive In!

Dive In! is an annual Illinois EPA-sponsored event that travels throughout Illinois each fall to teach grade school students about the importance of protecting and conserving one of our most precious natural resources: water. This free event is extremely beneficial for local students and teachers and is a fun way to learn about natural resources and water conservation. Over the years it has benefited thousands of Illinois students and teachers.

Scientists and other professionals from the Illinois EPA, other state agencies, and several volunteers combine education with entertainment and present the students with active learning discussions and games. Students are taught about watersheds, geology, animals that live in and near water habitats and water quality as they rotate through several different presentations throughout the day. This aquatic stewardship day allows students to have fun while hiking on trails and learning in the outdoor classroom. Teachers also receive a packet of topic-related materials for use in their indoor classrooms.

This event is co-sponsored by the Environmental Education Association of Illinois and the site where the event is held each year. Past Dive In! events have been held at the Rock Springs Conservation Area and Nature Center in Decatur, the Peace of Earth Environmental Learning Center in Rushville, Sugar Grove Nature Center in McLean, The Nature Institute in Godfrey, and Touch of Nature in Makanda.

If you are interested in holding an event in your area, presenting or have any questions or suggestions about Dive In!, please contact Kristi Morris at (217) 558-7198.

Dive In! Photos


Students learn about macroinvertebrates up close and personal.


Students learn how groundwater moves through different layers of the earth.


Students learn about the many benefits of trees.


After a brief discussion about trees, the students play a hands on game to demonstrate the benefits.


Students listen attentively about different water critters.


Students pose for a group shot during their creek exploring hike.


Students learn about the effects of water and glaciers that shaped Illinois.


Students learn about the dynamics of streams and rivers.


Students pause during a presentation to catch some active wildlife as they learn about pond critters.