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The IACD Conference will return February 8th and 9th, 2024.  Our conferences are an intimate gathering of friends and professionals dedicated to conservation management and education. You are invited to join us at the 2024 IACD Conference for presentations that matter, to network with other professionals, and have fun with like minded friends.

2024 IACD Conference

February 8 & 9, 2024

Starved Rock State Park

Working to Preserve and Protect Illinois' Flora and Fauna

The past conferences have been incredibly popular, so be sure to register early to ensure your spot. When you attend IACD conferences, remember, overnight accommodations are separate from conference fees and are the responsibility of the attendee.

Rates and deadlines will be as follows:  Registration is now open!

$125 early registration ending on December 22nd 

$150 full conference registration after December 22nd until deadline of 1/26 or Capacity

​​Registration is non-refundable. If you find you cannot attend, you may request to transfer your registration to someone else.

​​If your agency would like to inquire about a group/agency commitment to attend, email us at ahawkins@fpdwc.org, or call Andrew at (815) 722-9425.


Conference host lodging will once again be at the Starved Rock Conference Center and Lodge. Lodging reservations are separate from your conference registration. Please contact the Starved Rock Conference Center and Lodge at (815) 667-4211 or at starvedrocklodge.com and ask for the IACD Conference Room Block.

​​​​​​                                          2024 IACD Conference

Thursday, February 8, 2024

8:00am – 8:30am

  • Pre-Conference Workshop Check-In

 8:30am – 11:30am

  • Pre-Conference Equipment/Chainsaw Maintenance Workshop

8:45am – 11:30am 

  • Judith Wallace - Pre-Conference Hike

 12:30pm – 1:00pm - Conference Check-In

12:30pm – 1:00pm - Hotel Check-In

 1:00pm – 1:15pm
 - Welcome to the 2024 IACD Conference

 1:15pm – 2:15pm - Keynote Speaker

  • Jason Thomason - Ice age puzzles in Illinois, their impacts to society, and how conservation districts help solve them.

2:30pm – 3:20 Breakout Session I

  • Amber Schorg - Bat Detection Activities at Illiniwek Forest Preserve District and Bat Conservation in Illinois
  • Mark Bouman and Mark Johnston - The Chicago Wilderness HUB: A New Resource for Tracking Conservation Progress in the Chicago Region
  • Sergio Vargas - Illinois Environmental Council 30 x 30/Federal Funding Update

 3:30pm – 4:20pm Breakout Session II

  • Floyd Catchpole - Lessons from 22 Years Restoring Sand Savanna
  • Chris Stone – Illinois Mosquito and Tick Species ID
  • Gretel Kiefer - Rare plant monitoring & habitat management; Using Plants of Concern as a tool for guiding management practices.

 4:30pm – 5:15pm Roundtable Discussion

  • Land Management Tips for controlling Invasives (equipment/herbicide)

5:15pm – 6:00pm - Hotel Check-In and Cash Bar Opens

 6:00pm – 7:00pm - Dinner

 6:45 Awards

  • Burton Atwood Award
  • Roger Gustafson Award

7:00pm – 8:00pm- Evening Speaker

  • Peggy Doty and Pam Otto - Out Standing in the Field: Tips and Tricks for Teaching Trailside

8:00pm – 10:00pm Networking Social

Friday, February 9, 2024

8:15am – 9:15 Breakfast

 9:15am – 9:30am Hotel Check-Out

9:30am – 10:30am Breakout Session III

  • Scott James & Lauren Larson- Bumblebee Monitoring in the Quad Cities and at Illiniwek & Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Districts
  • Brenna Ness & Matt Ruhter - Grazing Bison & Grassland Birds: A Public-Private Partnership at Pleasant Valley Conservation Area
  • Brook McDonald - Polling Data- How to collect it and use it correctly.

10:45am – 11:45am – Breakout Session IV

  • Chad Merda - How to crowdsource your digital marketing to accomplish more.
  • Brian Schoenung - Invasive carp management in the Illinois River.
  • Paul Marcum - Introduction to Sedge (Carex) Identification and Ecology

11:45am – 12:00pm Wrap-up, Evaluations, Door Prizes, Depart

12:15pm – 1:30pm IACD Annual Meeting