50th Anniversary

We are excited to celebrate 50 years of work with thousands of members, partners and volunteers who together have protected Illinois’ rivers and water for generations of people and wildlife. We will celebrate our past, present and future with many activities throughout 2017. We hope you will join us and bring a friend so they can learn about the many ways Prairie Rivers Network continues to build a network of stewards across Illinois, working together to protect our precious natural places, rivers, water, and wildlife.

Our Network is YOU and we can’t wait to celebrate with you!

In Thanks and Celebration,
Carol Hays, Executive Director

Prairie Rivers Network: Fifty Years of Service

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Prairie Rivers Network is very excited to bring one of the largest environmental film festivals to Illinois. This will be the first time PRN is hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and we have three different locations throughout Illinois: Champaign, Peoria, and Carbondale. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival provides us with an opportunity to reach into our communities and inspire citizens to affect environmental change. The Festival offers a way for our members, supporters, and new friends to get energized and empowered to work in our communities and get involved with us to protect clean water, wildlife habitat, and our rich natural landscapes.

Carbondale Showing

When:  September 22, 2017

Where: Varsity Center for the Arts, 1418 South Illinois Ave, Carbondale, IL 62901

Peoria Showing

When:  October 13, 2017

Where: Riverfront Museum, 222 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL 61602

Run for Clean Water (or walk)

Help celebrate 50 Years of Prairie Rivers Network with a Charity Run/Walk for Clean Water. We need you now more than ever!

It’s easy! Look at all the people who have participated in this fundraiser and raised over $35,000 for clean water and healthy rivers. It is amazing how much money you can raise just by sending out a few emails. Think of it this way, would you mind if your nephew, cousin, friend, or co-worker sent an email to you asking you to donate $25 to a good cause? Probably not. This is a great way to support a cause you believe in (clean water) and help spread the word about why clean water is important and the good work we are doing.

Please DONATE NOW or BECOME A FUNDRAISER because clean water is worth protecting!

In honor of our 50th Anniversary, our Board President, Jon McNussen, will donate $50 for the first 20 new FUNdraisers that sign up! Click here to sign up now.

When: April 20-22, 2017

Where: Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon (5K, 10K, half-marathon, relay, full marathon), Champaign/Urbana

Diza, Miles, Ellie, Kavi, Emil
Church Team
Lady River Walkers
Jean Flemma
First Team
Nancy and child
Rob Kanter

PRN Day at Allerton

Protecting Our Land, Water and Wildlife:
A 50th Anniversary Celebration of Stewardship

Join PRN staff, board, and fellow members and river lovers for a fun-filled day at Allerton Park.

When: May 21, 2017; noon – 4:00 pm (rain or shine)

Where: Allerton Park Music Barn, 588 Allerton Road, Monticello, Illinois 61856


Planned Activities Include: 


  • Picnic – Bring a picnic and enjoy a family friendly meal with friends.
  • Guided Nature Walk  Follow along with local Environmental Almanac Writer/Photographer and PRN board member Rob Kanter as he observes the natural environment, capturing it in beautiful images with his iphone (for photographers and iphonographers or anyone who loves wildlife).
  • Guided Birding Walk Take a walk with local birder David Thomas.
  • Traveling Science Center – Learn about types of habitats and species diversity, as well as ways to protect against threats to that diversity in this mobile classroom featuring informative, engaging exhibits on Illinois biodiversity. Great for kids and adults.

2:00 pm

  • The Water Project  Enjoy a new performance developed by a theatrical ensemble led by local director and civic theater advocate, Latrelle Bright, examining our relationship with water: water that is at once a necessary resource for all living things, a convenient dumping ground for waste, and a commodity to be bought and sold.

2:30 pm

  • Celebrating our Bees and Pollinators  Sample locally-produced honey.
  • Applauding Land Stewardship of the Central IL Grain Guild  Sample local artisanal grain breads.
  • Honoring the Sangamon River and Wildlife of East Central IL  Art and photography exhibit by local artists and photographers.

3:00 pm

  • River of Hope: Save a Place. Change Your Life – A multimedia reflection on 50 years of stewardship, including readings from Prairie Rivers Network member Amy Hassinger’s new novel, After the Dam*, and video interviews with PRN founder Bruce Hannon and long-time members John Marlin and Jack Paxton reflecting on a lifetime of river and land stewardship that has helped shape the path of Prairie Rivers Network.

*Copies of Amy’s book will be available for purchase at the event.

Download the promotional Allerton postcard.

Join us for our 50th Anniversary Dinner Gala!

For those members who have been coming to our Annual Dinner year-after-year, we are mixing things up for our 50th Anniversary Dinner Gala with a celebration dinner, dancing, and desserts. If you haven’t been to an Annual Dinner yet, you won’t want to miss it, so save the date and get ready to celebrate!

When: October 6, 2017

Where: I Hotel & Conference Center, 1900 S First St, Champaign, IL 61820

Read about the founding of Prairie Rivers Network Here