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Toluca Coal Mine Fall Festival hosts Marshall-Putnam Extension activities

tent set up at Toluca Coal Mine Days

The Marshall-Putnam Master Naturalist, Master Gardeners and 4-H program enjoyed working with the children at the Toluca Coal Mine Fall Festival in Toluca on October 3rd and Oct 10th.  This old fashion community wiener roast and activities was a chance for University of Illinois Extension to reach more children through experiencing nature.

Even with the first weekend being rained out in the middle of the festivities, approximately 80 children enjoyed the activities during the two weekends of the festival. The Master Gardeners and Master Naturalist had the children paint wood slices and taught them basics of tree identification.  Aaron Lindstrom, the 4-H STEM coordinator, taught the children the basics of aeronautics as they made paper helicopters.  The younger children and the teens enjoyed seeing whose helicopters could stay flying the longest.  Just another reminder of children enjoying nature when given a chance.

To learn more about the University of Illinois Master Gardeners, 4-H or information on enrolling your child in a local club, contact Anne Scheel at 309-364-2356 or email

         The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you have questions or need more information please call University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-224-0889. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.