Land Between The Rivers is a comprehensive website for Alexander, Johnson, Massac and Pulaski Counties for visitors and locals alike.  Welcome!

SIDEZ- Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone

SIDEZ promotes economic development, infrastructure development and tourism in Alexander, Johnson, Massac and Pulaski counties. 

  • Revolving Loan Funds- Micro(up to $30,000) and IRP(up to $250,000) loan funds for new and expanding businesses in the SIDEZ region; current interest rates of 4.5% special rate of 3.99% for five years when half of total loan funds provided by local bank.  
  • ELITE Youth Camp- Annual entrepreneurial camp for 7th, 8th and 9th graders with an interest in learning how to start a business; in July at Shawnee community College. 
  • Willard Murrie Scholarship- $20,000 endowment initiative to fund annual scholarships to Shawnee Community College students with exemplary record of volunteer service to the community. 
  • Pulaski County Business Center- Business incubator located in Mounds with commercial kitchen and retail/commercial/industrial/warehouse spaces available for rent; owned by Pulaski County and managed by SIDEZ. 


The Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone, Inc. is searching for a small business with fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross sales to partner with on a Rural Business Development Grant from USDA.  The business must be located in Alexander, Johnson, Massac or Pulaski county.  For more information, contact Tabatha Smith at 618-745-6307 or tsmith@sidezoffice.org

Working together to bring about positive change


Alexander County  

 As you explore Alexander County, you will see many historic landmarks, such as Fort Defiance Park, 1848 Court House, 1899 Rail Depot and Horseshoe Lake.  Come check out the historical memories Alexander County has to view.    

Johnson County

Johnson County is known for its many beautiful outdoor recreational attractions, which are Shawnee National Forest, Cache River State Natural Area, Heron Pond, Tunnel Hill, Giant City State Park, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Tunnel Hill State Trail, River to River trail and Bicentennial Trail.  If enjoy hiking, fishing, bicycling, boating, swimming or just love the outdoors then Johnson County is the place to be.  

Massac County

Massac County is located along the Ohio River.  In this county you will find Fort Massac State Park, Fort Massac Historical Museum, Annual Superman Celebration, ASA IL Championship Archery Tournament, Harrah's Casino and Mermet Lake.  Massac County has a mixture of outdoor and indoor entertainment as well as historical markers.  Explore Massac County and you will be impressed to see how many great activities and historic attractions they have to offer.    

Pulaski County

Pulaski County has great opportunities for outdoor recreation.  You will find that Pulaski County has Shawnee National Forest, Ohio River, Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, The Lower Cache Access Area and The National Cemetery. You will be amazed at the beautiful and natural beauty Pulaski Co. has to offer its residents and visitors.    

Union County 

Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind art, wine, or antiques, or exploring the great outdoors, the Shawnee Hills of Union county can take you there. 

As you explore the wonders of the Shawnee Hills, you will find Bald Knob Cross which stands high on the most prominent elevation in Southern Illinois. Surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Shawnee National Forest; Bald Knob rises more than 1000 feet above sea level.  

As you travel the rolling Southern Illinois countryside you can sip your way along and discover truly surprising and authentic wine culture in the Shawnee Hills American Viticultural area, Illinois’ first region acknowledged for its distinctive winemaking properties.

Nestled in Shawnee Hills, Union County has many bluffs and wilderness areas scattered among the sprawling Shawnee National Forest and Giant City State Park that are ideal for camping, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, and numerous other outdoor activities. Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour includes 9 platforms high in the trees, three aerial suspension bridges, the longest spanning 180 feet, and two short ground hikes.   Inns, cabins, cottages and bed & Breakfasts dot the region and are great launching pads for wine tasting, hiking or biking enthusiasts and many offer a secluded getaway.

Built in 1854, the Illinois Central Railroad was instrumental in converting the river to rail traffic. The railroads were used for shipping apples, peaches, strawberries, peppers, and melons to Chicago and New Orleans in refrigerated cars, first developed in Cobden.  Flamm Orchards and Rendleman Orchards Farm Market are 2 popular stops for area produce and serve up yummy fresh desserts with apples, peaches or strawberries.  

Visit: http://www.shawneeheartland.com/

The Annabelle Hydrangea was discovered in Anna, IL.  The native shrub Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ grows wild in partly shady and moist soils in southern Illinois.  It grows 4 feet tall with large white flowers and dark green foliage, and blooms from early to late summer.