Media Advisory: Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers is This Saturday at Cedarhurst, Mt. Vernon

Apr 23, 2012


Media Advisory - For Saturday, April 28



Beth Spezia, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-5595,

Jennifer Sarver, Education Director, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, (618) 242-1236,

Carbondale, Ill.– Reporters, photographers, and camera crews are invited to cover Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers, a free family event coming to Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, 2600 Richview Road in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, on Saturday, April 28 from 1-3pm.

Presented by WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of SIU Carbondale, and Cedarhurst, and sponsored by Old National Bank and a grant from the Jim Henson Company, Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers will feature educational dinosaur-themed activities designed to teach children of all ages how to become good stewards of the environment. Of special interest are a series of Nature Trackers Challenge activities for children, which will be conducted along the half-mile trail circling the pond on the Cedarhurst campus.

Event Itinerary and Interview Opportunities

1pm:     Check In

Families are asked to check-in near the gift shop entrance of Mitchell Museum where they will receive their ticket, event overview, list of activities, maps, and materials. Staff will be available to answer questions at three information stations scattered around the Cedarhurst campus.

1-3pm:  Activities

A variety of activities will take place simultaneously and will include:

Video Viewing Station– Master of Ceremonies David Lister of WDML Radio in Mt. Vernon will lead families in a sing-along in the Performance Hall of the Mitchell Museum. "Nature Trackers" episodes of the PBS KIDS series Dinosaur Train will be screened in the Performance Hall.

Fossilization Station-- Dr. Scott Ishman, a professor of geology at SIU Carbondale, and Samuel Martin, a geology student at SIU Carbondale, will discuss how fossils are made. Dinosaur models will be on display in the Beck Family Center Gallery of the Mitchell Museum. Dinosaur books will be on display at the storytelling area in the Family Center.

Recycling Region Station– Children will learn to sort recyclable materials into bins at this station.

Nature Nation Station-- There will be a dinosaur mural for families to color and activity sheets to help with outdoor games, such as "I Spy." Families will receive Nature Trackers Guidebooks at the back steps of the Mitchell Museum, where they will launch into a half-mile nature walk to complete four Nature Trackers challenges: 

Challenge #1 – Tracking

Challenge #2 – Collecting

Challenge #3 – Conservation

Challenge #4 – Community

Families will learn how to be good environmental stewards, take tree rubbings, watch birds and wildlife, find animal tracks, and enjoy the walk together. Completion of the four challenges entitles children to become members of the Nature Trackers Club.

Buddy Bank Station– Buddy the T. Rex will be available at the patio in back of the Mitchell House. Families can take pictures with the friendly dinosaur. There will be standing images of the train and the dinosaurs for picture taking scattered around the Cedarhurst grounds.

Crafts Crest Station– Nature crafts for children are available at the Shrode Art Center. Children will be able to make a windsock and a decorated recyclable bag for carrying their materials.

Sculpture Station– William and Cornelia Adams of Herrin are bringing lifelike dinosaur sculptures to Cedarhurst.  These will be on display, along with information about the creatures. Children can feel the texture and take rubbings.

2:30-3pm: Check Out

Families are asked to check out in the grand corridor of the Mitchell Museum. Each family will receive a dinosaur book and other materials.

Interview Opportunities

Jennifer Sarver,Director of Education, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts

Dr. Scott Ishman, Professor of Geology - SIU Carbondale, and Samuel Martin, Geology student at SIU

Cornelia and William Adams, sculptor

Beth Spezia, Outreach Coordinator, WSIU Public Broadcasting

For more information about WSIU's Dinosaur Train Nature Tracker event and a list of frequently asked questions, visit For details about the Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers Club, visit


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