daily fitness goal to log 10,000 steps

Registration open for 8K Trail Race (June 3)

After our successful return in 2022, the eighth edition of the Lincoln Memorial Garden (LMG) 8K Trail
Race in Springfield, Illinois is scheduled to be held on Saturday June 3, 2023. Eight kilometers (4.97
miles) of trails – with the course entirely situated within the Garden – will test runners’ stamina over
the scenic trails and pathways of the historic Garden, along the trails next to Lake Springfield, and
throughout the Ostermeier Prairie Center grounds. And, not to be left out, the kids can enjoy a Fun
Run around the pond at the Cawley Meadow.

Registration site: https://runsignup.com/Race/IL/Springfield/LincolnMemorialGarden

Find full details on the event page


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

July 30 Family Night – Cancelled

Cancelled- We had a family night scheduled for this Friday, July 30 (listed in the most recent newsletter). This event will not take place. Stay tuned for detail on our August 27th program on white-tailed deer.

Ecology Camp 2021- All Sessions Full!

All 2021 Sessions of Ecology Camp are full. 

We would like to update all of our members and past camp participants on our plans for Ecology Camp 2021. Lincoln Memorial Garden will be hosting our popular summer camp this summer, however it will look a little different than past years.

  • All sessions will be half day only
  • Each sessions will be limited to 12 participants
  • All staff and participants will be required to wear masks

See complete details Here

Registration will open March 15 (members), March 18 (Nonmembers)




1 morning FULL

June 7-11

5, 6

1 Afternoon

June 7-11

5, 6

2 Morning (FULL)

June 14-18

5, 6, 7

2 Afternoon (FULL)

June 14-18

5, 6, 7

3 Morning (FULL)

June 21-25

6, 7, 8

3 Afternoon (FULL)

June 21-25

6, 7, 8

4 Morning (FULL)

June 28-July 2

8, 9, 10

4 Afternoon

June 28-July 2

8, 9, 10

5 Morning

July 12-16

9, 10, 11

5 Afternoon

July 12-16

9, 10, 11

6 Morning FULL

July 18-23

11, 12, 13

6 Afternoon

July 18-23

11, 12, 13

Winter Activity Kits Available

We are offering activity kits this winter season.  These kits make great gifts for the holidays.

  • Pine cone gnome ornaments
  • Wooden Frame Bird Feeder
  • Wood Cookie ornaments
  • Nature Explorer Kit
  • Walking Stick kit
  • Butterfly Life Cycle Bracelet
  • Water Cycle Bracelet

All kits are $10 each

See complete details at our online store

Kits are designed for ages 4-12, younger children will need supervision to complete most activities.  Older children may require some supervision for certain activities.  These kits do contain small parts

Vote for People’s Choice by Nov. 10

Vote for People’s Choice Winner by Nov. 10


More than 400 entries were received for the 2020 Images of Lincoln Memorial Garden Photo Contest. Thank you to all who participated! A panel of professional photographers judged the entries in the Youth (age 15 and younger) and Adult (16+) in four categories: Celebrating Life in the Garden, Landscape, Wildflowers, and Living Creatures.


Please vote for your favorite for the People’s Choice prize from the eight winning entries below.


Get your vote in by Nov. 10!

Winning entries will be announced on Facebook starting Nov. 12.

Follow us: https://www.facebook.com/lincolnmemorialgarden

Why I’m a Member

“A big reason for families to join is the programming and education. It is just outstanding. The camps, the junior naturalist programs, Audra [staff environmental educator]. I wouldn’t be surprised if our daughter Lucy will be a naturalist for her career! We all love the Garden.”


  • Megan DeFrain with husband Chad, daughters Lucy and Pheobe

We’re asking members of Lincoln Memorial Garden (LMG) why they value their membership, whether as an individual ($40), family ($75), senior ($30) or other level. We’d love to share your story to encourage more to join. Send a message via Facebook or write to joel@LincolnMemorialGarden.org.

In addition to exclusive member benefits—including discounts and reciprocal privileges to 330+ botanical gardens across the country—membership truly makes the Garden what it is today. The Garden receives no taxpayer funding to maintain its 100 acres, the mulched trails, bridges and buildings. Memberships and donations sustain the grounds, environmental programming and special events.

Already a member? THANK YOU!

Please consider giving a very unique gift to your friends and family this year—the yearlong gift of a Lincoln Memorial Garden membership. Learn more:  https://lincolnmemorialgarden.org/membership/


Cawley Meadow Turns 20

by Ann Londrigan


It was 2008 when Lincoln Memorial Garden held the Indian Summer Festival in the Cawley Meadow for the first time. Before then, this long-running and very popular family festival was held in what’s known as the “Historic Garden.” The original 60-acre parcel was secured by civic leader Harriet Knudson in the mid-1930s as the city was creating Lake Springfield, and its blueprint was designed by celebrated “Prairie Style” landscape architect Jens Jensen in 1936. It entered the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Taking the Festival out of the woods and across the street was a bold but necessary move.

According to Jim Mathies, retired executive director of the Garden, the six-acre “Cawley Meadow” parcel had been given to the Garden in 2000 by Joyce Cawley following the passing of her husband Fred. Eight years later, after some major cleanup and planting the landscape, it was still mostly a large open space with little shade. And it was distinctly different from the tucked-in vendor booths along the Historic Garden paths with children’s activities spread out in the woodland openings. Who remembers turtle races in Council Ring 3?

“It was controversial,” says Joyce Munie, who served as secretary of the Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation Board, along with president and 2008 Festival Chair Carol Herndon.

“We did surveys and exit polls,” she recalls. “We asked, ‘What did you like about the Festival?’ And many said ‘We hate it over there!’”

The bottom line was that the Historic Garden needed protection. In their October 31 letter to the editor in The State Journal-Register, 2009 Festival Co-chairs Munie and longtime volunteer Chris Davis wrote:

Lincoln Memorial Garden’s foundation is a nonprofit organization charged by the Garden Clubs of Illinois to protect and maintain the garden. The garden was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because it was designed by Jens Jensen, one of the foremost landscape architects of the early 20th century. We moved the festival across the street last year because we could no longer ignore the impact that the footsteps of 4,000 people caused to the trees and other plants within it. We thank all those people who joined us again this year at the festival and all our new visitors who discovered the garden for the first time. Without your generous support we could not continue the work of the foundation.

Today, Festival-goers love the Cawley Meadow space. The trees along the edges have matured to offer more shade, and each year more benches are added for seating areas. A bandshell was created as an Eagle Scout project with funding from Sutton’s roofing and siding company. Thanks to an army of loyal and hard-working volunteers, new activities—such as “Build a Scarecrow,” the Tree Troll Trail and the beloved Fairy Woodlands—“magically” appear each year.

“It truly looks like what a festival area should look like,” says Munie, who has continued to volunteer along with Davis after their three-year stint as event co-chairs from 2009 to 2011.

So, what did it look like 20 years ago? Mathies and Garden staff, including Larry Miller, along with many volunteers, inventoried the newly acquired property. Here’s a partial list of what they found, which triggered a professional review by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • A large step van truck
  • Three old farm tractors, a plow, disc and harrow
  • Two 20-cubic-foot dumpsters full of metal including barbed wire, rebar and 55-gallon drums all weighing 30,240 pounds
  • 100 tires
  • 12 appliances
  • Contents of a shed filling six 20-cubic-foot dumpsters and including glass, plastic, hardware, old bikes and unlabeled containers of grease, herbicide, oil, paint and insecticide


According to the EPA final report, “A crew of four Garden staff took about five weeks to clean up the area. This included dragging items out of the woods with tractors, tearing down the shed and mowing fields to find items hidden by the vegetation.”

It was a herculean effort for several years.

“From an EPA perspective, there was non-point source pollution with rain and snow and the different pollutants,” says Davis, a 30-year professional with the Illinois EPA and currently manager of the Watershed Management Section. “When we worked on the project identifying all the stuff on the site, it dawned on everyone that it was less than a quarter mile to the lake and chances [were] it would deliver pollutants through the Garden to the lake.”

So, much like the Ostermeier Prairie Center, the maintenance of the Cawley property is a stewardship measure.

Says Joel Horwedel, executive director of the Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation: “Adding Cawley Meadow to the Garden’s holdings has allowed us the opportunity to develop a dedicated area for our annual fall festival and this important additional buffer to the Historic Garden.”


Chris Davis (left) with Joyce Munie, longtime Garden volunteers working the front gate at the 2019 fall festival






Cathy Slater, president of the Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation, and past president and festival chair Tom Wilkin, look over the pristine Cawley Meadow grounds in the early morning hours before the start of the 2019 fall festival






The well-established half-acre wetland in 2019, first created through the work from January 14, 2002, to January 31, 2004, by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Lincoln Memorial Garden volunteers, under the U.S. EPA’s Source Water Pollution Control Program and the Federal Clean Water Act




Save the date for fall festival 2021! As COVID-19 makes holding events safely nearly impossible, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our annual fall festival this year. We are offering Fall Harvest Festival at-home craft kits for sale online for $10 each including some of our favorite festival activities including Build a Scarecrow, Tree Troll, Pumpkin Painting, Fall String Art, and Fall Wood Cookie Décor. Get details and shop online here: https://bit.ly/306QjWD