Annual Pancake & Sausage Breakfast

Maple Syrup Time

As the cold winter weather eases, sugar maple trees begin the process of turning stored starch into sugar. Sap is made as this sugar combines with water in the ground. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup. 

Tapping maple trees to make syrup is an age-old tradition in North America. You can experience it for yourself at the Garden’s annual Maple Syrup Time demonstrations set for weekends in mid-February and March (March 4-5 and March 11-12). 

Demonstrations include seeing first-hand the “evaporation” process of boiling sap over a wood fire to produce syrup and of course, tasting the delicious syrup. The program is free and open to the public. Bring the kids, check the weather and dress accordingly.

Then make plans to attend Garden’s annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast. Make reservations for this popular breakfast and silent auction fundraiser by calling the Nature Center at 529-1111. The breakfast is set for 8 a.m. to noon on the weekends of March 18-19 and March 25-26. 

Many local businesses support this event.  Pure maple “sirup” from family-owned Funks Grove in nearby Shirley and plates and napkins from MJ Kellner. Our major event sponsor is Bank of Springfield.

2022 Photo Contest Results

The results are in for Lincoln Memorial Garden’s 6th annual photography contest. Anne Scrivner’s “House Wren’s Breakfast” photograph was selected by Fall Harvest Festival attendees for the People’s Choice award. Nearly 250 photographs were submitted, including 40 photographs by youth 15 years of age and under. Professional photographers Dannyln Dodder, Chris Young and Tom Handy reviewed the images and selected a first-place winner for each age group and category (Celebrating Life at Lincoln Memorial Garden, Creatures, Botanicals and Landscapes). Winning entries are listed below, as well as some images the judges recognized with an honorable mention.



Botanical    George Rother “Trail Mushrooms”

Creatures     Jaxon Holdman “Bridge”

Landscape    Jayla McMurray (lake with pontoon)

LMG            Jaxon Holdman “Nana Birdwatching”


          Botanical       Reinee Hildebrandt (pink dogwood flowers)

Creatures     Anne Scrivner “House Wren’s Breakfast”

Landscape    Cindy Harris “Leafless Tree Mirror Image”

LMG            Traci Raper “Improved Aim”




Botanical    Emma Synder “Mayapples”

Creatures     Shal Shen (spider on web)

Alice Lieberman “Fawn Friend”

Landscape    Shal Shen (bridge)


          Botanical     Reinee Hildebrant (oxeye daisy dew)

Anne Scrivner (insect shadow)

Creatures     Kevin Coakley “Mallard Hen in Tree Cavity”

Kevin Coakley “Great Egret Fishing”

Landscape    Amanda Castleman “LMG After a Spring Rain”

Lindsey Batten “Winter Lake Landscape”

LMG            Abigail Rouse (tea party)

Fall Harvest Festival returns Oct. 8 & 9

We hope you will join in the fun on Saturday and Sunday, October
8 and 9, 2022, from 10AM to 4PM when Lincoln Memorial Garden’s highly
popular Fall Harvest Festival returns to Cawley Meadow. This year’s Festival will
be packed with old favorites as well as these new additions:

A fullyoperational Blacksmith demonstrates his techniques and wares
Willow weaving in the Nature’s Discovery area leads to the new “Bird’s
LMG History Tent displays the evolution of LMG and Mrs. Knudson’s
buckboard wagon
Tater Tots Rock takes the stage for families and younger attendees (10AM
Soybean Play joins the Corn Play and Hay Play discovery areas
Homemade fudge and cinnamon rolls sweeten the weekend
Springfield Art Association’s new Make Truck rolls into the Meadow
The newest Springfield Art Association/LMG troll, Aco, displays his giant

As in the past, admission remains $8 for each day with children 10 and under
FREE throughout the Festival. Your favorite vendors and food trucks will delight
while the family enjoys building fairy houses in the Fairy Woodlands, creating Tree
Trolls for the Troll Trail, or playing in the Nature’s Play area. Numerous education
opportunities and games will also take place throughout the meadow. For a
small fee, there will be stations for painting pumpkins, stuffing scarecrows, and
creating walking sticks. Attendees will have the chance to view the winning
entries of the annual LMG Photo Contest and cast their votes for the 2022
People’s Choice Award. Numerous photo backdrops will provide the perfect
scene to snap photos, and this year’s music lineup includes:

Saturday Oct. 8
Tater Tot Rocks Kids 1011:00
Joel Gragg Mixed 11:0012:30
Cactus Ranch Bluegrass 12:452:15
Kraig Kenning Americana 2:304:00

Sunday Oct. 9
Ben Bedford Folk 11:0012:30
Tom and Owen Irwin Americana 12:452:15
The Deep Hollow Americana 2:304:00

Photo Contest

We’d love to see Lincoln Memorial Garden through your eyes!

Enter the “Images of Lincoln Memorial Garden” photo contest by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.


Categories include:

  • Living Creatures (birds, mammals, frogs, toads, snakes, turtles, insects and other invertebrates)
  • Wildflowers
  • Landscapes
  • NEW category this year – Celebrating Life at Lincoln Memorial Garden (people using the Garden, whether hiking the trails, graduation photos, etc.)


Photo contest guidelines ISF 2022



2020 Fall Newsletter

In this issue: Seasons Fall 2020

  • Celebrating a Successful Prairie Restoration
  • Happy Birthday, Jens Jensen!
  • Introducing New Foundation Board Members
  • Cawley Meadow Turns 20
  • Fall Festival Will Return in 2021
  • Why Be a Member?
  • Let’s Examine Dandelions
  • Thanks to Our Many Contributors
  • Welcome New Members
  • Memorials


Hours of Operation:

The Nature Center remains closed in 2020 for the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff.

Garden Trails are open every day from sunrise to sunset. Please follow State of Illinois and CDC COVID-19 safety and social distancing guidelines for outdoor activities.

Check our Facebook page and website for updates.


Pancake & Sausage Breakfast

Make reservations for this popular breakfast and silent auction fundraiser by calling the Nature Center at 529-1111. 

The breakfast is set for 8 a.m. to noon on the weekends of March 21–22 and March 28–29.

Pancakes with gluten free option, real maple syrup and sausage cooked over a fire.

$8 for adults, $5 for kids.

Thank you to event sponsor Bank of Springfield.

Many local businesses support this event through in-kind donations. There’s butter from Maldaner’s Restaurant, pure maple “sirup” from family-owned Funks Grove in nearby Shirley and plates and napkins from MJ Kellner.

Annual Fund Drive

We’d like to thank all the individuals, businesses and organizations who will be making donations to this year’s campaign. We truly appreciate your support in helping us reach our goal.

Help maintain our local treasure

It’s the annual fund drive for Lincoln Memorial Garden. Just a mention of the Garden evokes happy memories in many and exited anticipation in many more. We are know for our exceptional environmental education programs that offer young and old a place to experience and learn about the natural world.

Our Holiday Market, Pancake Breakfast, Lunch in Bloom, Trail Race and Indian Summer Festival have become annual events for generations of families in Springfield and surrounding communities.

It’s here for walkers, joggers, bird watchers, nature lovers and wanderers of all ages who seek out its beauty and solitude every season.

For more than six decades the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation as overseen this living tribute to President Lincoln. The Garden is the result of a fruitful collaboration between local conservationist and civic leader Harriet Knudson and world renown architect Jens Jensen.

The annual fund drive asks for your support in financial assistance to care for the Garden and facilities, remain a leader in nature education and a steward of our prairie and woodlands. Annual fund dollars go directly to operating budget to fund daily needs such as educational supplies, tools and equipment and utilities.

Please consider a donation to the annual fund in support of this local treasure.


Photo Contest Winners Announced

Telling the Garden’s Story through Photography

by: Kathy Andrews Wright and Ann Londrigan

Everyone has a favorite place to go in the Garden. A favorite bench or tree. A favorite season, such as spring with its bursts of colorful wildflowers, or fall as the maple groves turn rich hues of gold. The cypress grove, Lincoln Council Ring, meadows and the prairie. Ecology Camp, bird and leaf hikes, Indian Summer Festival.

There is so much to see and experience in the Garden’s 110 acres, which is evident in the winning images of our third annual photography contest, “Images of Lincoln Memorial Garden.” Thirty-one photographers submitted a total of 183 images. The judges identified eight winning entries in four categories (birds, wildflowers, landscapes and the catch-all other). The contest is designed to encourage Garden visitors to share a Garden story from their own perspective and experience.

Thank you to our 2019 judges: Virginia Scott, former Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation board member and creative force behind the Natural Impressions Notecards; Doug Bergeron of Doug Bergeron Photography and Chris Young, Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“I love this place,” said Scott, who has been a longtime Garden volunteer and a member of the elite Acorns fundraising group. “You can find beautiful images not just on sunny days.”

About the photographs entered, Bergeron said: “I enjoyed seeing things I don’t normally see through others’ eyes, their choice of perspective and subject.”

Chris Young said photography can help people connect with a place and to learn about nature as it did for him in his early years of taking nature photos.

“I’d take photographs and go back home to look up the plants or bugs I captured,” he recalled. “I started to recognize the time of year. Nature can be a teacher if you want to learn.”

Following the judges’ review of the entries, visitors to the 2019 Indian Summer Festival voted on the eight first-place winners to select a “People’s Choice” winner. Selected for this award was Elizabeth Sanford’s entry “Beyond the Lakeshore,” which garnered the majority of the 853 votes over the two-day event.

Keep your camera at hand this year as you walk the Garden’s trails and enjoy sponsored programs and activities. Watch for information on the 2020 contest on the Garden’s Facebook page and at


Winning Entries
Age 16 and Older
Birds: Dennis Danner, “Massive Flock of Snow Geese”
Judges’ comments: Dynamic, artistic, continues to the top of the photo, leading us to imagine beyond. A view of nature and the human world colliding. Wildlife adapting to encroachment. A brave viewpoint.

Wildflowers: Craig Paszek, “Dogwood Flowers and Lake”
Judges’ comments: A layered image, yet not too busy, with the flower still and dominant. Very nice light. Photographer thought about time of day and composition. Good use of contrast and shadow.

Landscapes: Elizabeth Sanford, “Beyond the Lakeshore”
Judges’ comments: Bench adds a feeling of rumination, and the reflections are artistic. Strong lines. It’s so hard to capture a snowfall; you have to go at the time or immediately after. One hour later it does not look the same.

Other: JJ Gouin, “Bumblebee on Coneflower”
Judges’ comments: Shallow depth of field. Nice detail with the pollen on the antennae. With a bias toward conservation awareness and pollinators, this image is well-executed and timely.


Age 15 and Under
Birds: James Hugh Graham, “Where Are the Birds Now?”

Wildflowers: Charlotte Graham, “Yellow Flowers”

Landscapes: Charlotte Graham, “Trail”

Other: Charlotte Graham, “Larry the Leaf Bug”

People’s Choice: Elizabeth Sanford, “Beyond the Lakeshore”


Honorable Mentions

Birds: Dennis Danner, “Chipping Sparrow with Nesting Material”

Wildflowers: Ian J. Wick, “Liatris”

Wildflowers: Ian J. Wick, “Silhouette”

Landscape: Janet Pieper, “Foggy Path”

Landscape: Joshua Rhoades, “Icicles on Cypress”

Other: Dennis Danner, “Fawn Standing on Path”

Other: Janet Pieper, “Carp”

Other: Cyndi Gallo Callan, “Blowing Bubbles”

Ecology Camp Registration

We are planning another fun filled summer of Ecology Camp here at Lincoln memorial Garden.  Summer schedule:

Session Dates Time Ages Member*/nonMember
I – AM


June 10-14 8:30am-11:30am 4, 5, 6 $80/$100
I – PM June 10-14 12:30pm-3:30pm 4, 5, 6 $80/$100
II June 17-21 8:30am-3:30pm 6, 7 $155/$195
III June 24-28 8:30am-3:30pm 6, 7, 8 $155/$195
IV July 8-12 8:30am-3:30pm 8, 9, 10 $155/$195
V July 15-19 8:30am-3:30pm 9, 10, 11 $155/$195
VI July 22-26 8:30am-3:30pm 10, 11, 12 $155/$195
VII July 29-Aug 2 8:30am-3:30pm 13, 14, 15 $155/$195

*Be sure your membership is current, so you can take advantage of the member rate.   If you’re not a current member but would like to join click below

Don’t miss LMG’s annual Holiday Market!

Each year in mid-November, Lincoln Memorial Garden kicks off the Holiday Season with an annual market featuring unique hand-crafted items perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts and decorations.

The market opens Friday, November 17, with a special evening event from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  This is an opportunity to be among the first shoppers.  Volunteers will be serving light refreshments, wine and cider as an added bonus for early shopping.  The event continues on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The special holiday sale offerings include centerpieces, swags, wreaths and one-of-a-kind Christmas tree ornaments.  Talented area artisans gather during October and November to make each unique creation.  All of their labor is donated so the articles are affordable and exceptional.

The sale is held in the Lincoln Memorial Garden Nature Center which is home to the Split Rail Shop, a year-around gift store offering everything from books, jewelry, toys and garden items to beautiful glass birdbaths and hand crafted wind chimes.  It is the perfect place to find unique items and stocking stuffers.

Admission is free and all of the funds raised by the shop and the special holiday sale provide funds for educational programming.