Shawnee National Forest continues its series of special programs to commemorate its 80th anniversary of being proclaimed a national forest.

Many efforts were made by dedicated residents of southern Illinois that were instrumental in the creation of the only national forest in Illinois. The free program is scheduled for 10 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center in Cypress.

The program includes a presentation by Mary McCorvie, heritage program manager, about the early history of the forest, as well as a special showing of The Land Changes, a historical film featuring the Shawnee National Forest. First produced in 1957 by the USDA Forest Service, the historic film features a newspaper man as he explains how worn out farmland can become an asset and how national forests are improved through reforestation, protection and proper management. Both starring roles were played by Shawnee National Forest employees — Leonard (Len) Farmer, a clerk and dispatcher at Elizabethtown Ranger Station played the newspaper man, while Lindal Roberts a forestry aid, worked in the Jonesboro Ranger Station.

The program is limited to 30 participants. For more, call the Cache River Wetlands Center at 618-657-2064 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Participants are encouraged to wear facemasks.

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