The field lab surrounded by mid-summer blooms
Regarding the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are implementing a number of changes and cancellations here at Starhill Forest. Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of all who visit the Arboretum.
• All large tours and volunteer events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. We still welcome volunteers in small numbers for specific projects, following social distancing protocols. Contact curator Alana McKean for details.
• Our grounds are open for visitors, however all buildings (including restrooms) are closed to the general public for the time being. While we do not maintain regular “open” hours, we invite you to walk the trails and enjoy the outdoors. Please call ahead, email, or message us on Facebook if you wish to visit.
• Enjoy nature while keeping safe! We invite you to visit our grounds but ask that you please follow current medical and epidemiological advice that recommends keeping at least six feet from other individuals.
We know that time spent outdoors is therapeutic in so many ways, perhaps now more than ever. Take a calming walk in the woods. Go for a run. Walk the dog. Collect some pinecones, sticks, etc. for nature crafts with the kids who are home from school. With state parks and many local city parks closed at this time, we hope to provide a welcome respite for our local friends. Stay safe, stay healthy!

Cisnădie The Arboretum is both a private residence and a living museum, different from a park or recreation area. At this time, we do not have regular visiting hours, however scheduled visits, tours, and other uses of the Arboretum are welcomed! Simply contact us to make arrangements by calling 217-632-3685 or contact us via email. We offer lectures and guided tours on our site about oaks, historic trees, native trees, and other tree-related topics, and we bring our presentations to any English-speaking country, tailored for any audience level, from Scout troops working on their natural history merit badges to experienced horticulturalists, botanists, and plant collectors.

Mehekar Starhill is well-known for our diverse collection, which includes a number of fragile, rare, and endangered plants. We encourage guests to make use of our collections and the grounds in novel ways while keeping in mind that the protection of the plants is of utmost importance.

The field lab is a great venue for retreats, meetings, and classes of all sorts. Wireless internet access, a projector, screen, white board, kitchenette, restroom, tables and chairs, and more are available to accommodate your needs.

Restrooms are available in the Field Lab, and the building is wheelchair accessible. Tours by motorized vehicles are available to facilitate access to the Arboretum’s grounds.

Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome.

Seed and leaf collection is permissible, but we ask that you first seek approval and instruction from staff.

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated!