REGISTRATION

Registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. To register for any of our programs, please fill out a registration form, or call 630-444-3190. Telephone reservations are accepted weekdays, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


PAYMENT

Program payments may be made in person (cash, check or credit card) or via mail (checks only) to:

Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St.
St. Charles, IL 60175

Checks should be made payable to: Forest Preserve District of Kane County.

Programs are free unless otherwise indicated. Fee assistance is available upon request.


SUGGESTED ATTIRE

Most of our programs involve outdoor activities such as walking on trails. Please wear closed-toe shoes or boots (no sandals!) and long pants.


WEATHER

Severe weather cancels most programs. Call 630-444-3190 for program updates and cancellation announcements.


CANCELLATIONS

Please call us if you need to cancel, so that we may contact others on our wait list.


SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

If you require special accommodations, please let us know at least two weeks in advance by calling the program manager at 630-649-1147. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service or activity of the District, should contact the ADA Coordinator at Voice: 630-232-5921 or 630-232-5980, TTY Relay: 800-526-0844, e-mail at ada@kaneforest.com or mail at 1996 S. Kirk Rd., Ste. 320, Geneva, IL 60134, as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours before the scheduled event.


NATURE PROGRAM EVALUATION

Have you attended a recent nature program by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County? Tell us how we did. Fill-out our online Nature Program Evaluation. There, you can rate our performance as well as our facilities, suggest future program topics, subscribe to The TreeLine newsletter, and more.

Registration is required. Many programs fill up quickly, so please register early to guarantee a spot. Call 630-444-3190 or fill out this form to register.


Story Time at Creek Bend Nature Center

Treat your child to story times at Creek Bend Nature Center. This popular program series is for children (infants through 5-year olds) and their caregivers. St. Charles Public Library staff will read books, accompanied by finger plays, songs and more. All are welcome to enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Nature Center, following the program. All story times are free. This is a drop-in program. No registration required.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 18; 10:30 - 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 15; 10:30 - 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12; 10:30 - 11 a.m.

Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve

37W700 Dean St., St. Charles;
FREE


Nature Tykes (for 3-year olds)

In this program geared for 3-year olds with their parents, grandparents or guardians, we'll explore the natural world through a variety of activities, led by our naturalist staff. Sessions include a combination of stories, nature hikes, songs, games or crafts. A parent or caregiver must accompany child.

Owl Eyes
Thursday, Jan. 23; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child

Ice Is Nice
Thursday, Feb. 27; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child


Little Naturalists (for 4-5-year olds)

In this hour-long program for 4-5 year olds, children will discover the wonders of nature through stories, nature hikes, songs, games or crafts. Note: This is a "drop-off" program; adults and siblings may enjoy the trails or wait in the nature center, during program.

Owl Eyes
Thursday, Jan. 23; 1 - 2 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child

Ice Is Nice
Thursday, Feb. 27; 1 - 2 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child


Tracking & Survival Day Camp

Explore the woods and fields during these five-day nature camps! Naturalists will lead activities based on a different nature theme each day. Summer camp is for children entering first through sixth grades. Call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com to register for Week in the Woods summer day camps. Detailed camp information will be provided upon registration. Advance registration is required.

Monday - Friday, June 22-26; 9 a.m. - noon
Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve
41W600 Hughes Rd., Elburn
Fee: $175/child


STEM in Nature Day Camp

Explore the woods and fields during these five-day nature camps! Naturalists will lead activities based on a different nature theme each day. Summer camp is for children entering first through sixth grades. Call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com to register for Week in the Woods summer day camps. Detailed camp information will be provided upon registration. Advance registration is required.

Monday - Friday, July 13-17; 9 a.m. - noon
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
Fee: $175/child


Summer Unplugged Day Camp

Explore the woods and fields during these five-day nature camps! Naturalists will lead activities based on a different nature theme each day. Summer camp is for children entering first through sixth grades. Call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com to register for Week in the Woods summer day camps. Detailed camp information will be provided upon registration. Advance registration is required.

Monday - Friday, Aug. 3-7; 9 a.m. - noon
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $175/child


Junior Naturalist Camp

Discover the sights and sounds of a different forest preserve each day! During this camp partnership between the Forest Preserve District of Kane County and the Geneva Park District, campers will get their feet wet in local rivers and streams, track animals in nearby woodlands, and explore firsthand the history and geology of Kane County. This full-day camp is for children entering third through fifth grades. Each day of camp will begin and end at Peck Farm Park. Campers will travel by bus to/from a different Kane County forest preserve, each day. Daily themes and forest preserve trips include:

  • Day 1 - Watersheds & Wetlands: LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles
  • Day 2 - Geology: Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls, Gilberts
  • Day 3 - River Ecology: Glenwood Park Forest Preserve, Batavia
  • Day 4 - Woodlands & Woodland Animals: Bliss Woods Forest Preserve, Sugar Grove
  • Day 5 - Cultural and Natural History: LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles and Fabyan Forest Preserve, Geneva

Session 1: Monday, June 15 - Friday, June 19
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Peck Farm Park
4038 Kaneville Rd., Geneva
Fee: $300/child
Activity Code: 3212806-01

Session 2: Monday, July 20 - Friday, July 24
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Peck Farm Park
4038 Kaneville Rd., Geneva
Fee: $300/child
Activity Code: 3212806-02

Session 3: Monday, Aug. 10 - Friday, Aug. 14
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Peck Farm Park
4038 Kaneville Rd., Geneva
Fee: $300/child
Activity Code: 3212806-03

Advance registration is required for Junior Naturalist Camp, with three ways to register:

  1. Online at www.genevaparks.org
  2. By phone at 630-232-4542
  3. In person at Sunset Community Center, 710 Western Avenue, Geneva. Detailed

Junior Naturalist Camp information will be provided upon registration.


Woodland Birthday Parties

Let us host a Woodland Birthday party for your child! We'll take care of the planning, entertainment and clean-up! Woodland Birthday Parties feature: An outdoor guided hike led by naturalists; a campfire; unique nature-themed party favors; use of Creek Bend Nature Center. Parties are available year-round! The fee is $100 for Kane County residents; $125 for out-of-county residents. Rate includes a party for 15 children; for more than 15 children, there will be an additional $5 per child. Call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com for more information or to book your Woodland Birthday Party today!

All ages are welcome to attend family programs unless an age limit is specified. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Organized groups must schedule a separate tour for their group. Advance registration is required. Call 630-444-3190 or fill out this form to register.


Winter Wonderland Story Time at Creek Bend Nature Center

Cozy up with your family during a winter story time at the nature center. Feel free to come in your favorite pajamas and enjoy a special after-hours program among the nature exhibits. St. Charles Public Library staff will read books, lead fun games and songs, and share a seasonal craft activity. We'll follow up with a toasty serving of hot chocolate, while you explore Creek Bend Nature Center. Registration is not required for this program.

Thursday, Dec. 5; 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center

37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE


Hand-painted Nature-Inspired Decorations

Learn to simplify the complex shapes found in nature to decorate personalized greetings and gift cards for the holidays. Led by professional artist Tina Druce-Hoffman, during this workshop, you'll discuss and apply the topics of color theory, composition and some calligraphy. All supplies and professional instruction are included. This is an all-ages program.

Saturday, Dec. 7; 1 - 3 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $45/person


Build Your Own Succulent Garden

Keep the winter blues at bay by adding a little green to your life! In this garden workshop, participants will be given all the supplies they need to create a little plant oasis. Take one home for yourself, or build one as a holiday gift for that special someone in your life.

Sunday, Dec. 15; 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $20/person


Science of Snow

We have all heard the old saying, "No two snowflakes are exactly alike." This program aims to explain why! Join District Naturalists as we discuss ice crystal formation and use magnifying glasses to examine snowflakes up close.

Sunday, Jan. 12; 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE


By the Light of the Moon

Learn the legends of the moon on these monthly night hikes. Traditional cultures have names for each month's full moon, signifying important natural events of the season. Listen to the stories and learn a little astronomy by the light of the full moon. We'll enjoy a night hike, even if skies are cloudy.

Wolf Moon
Friday, Jan. 10; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve
35W003 Rte. 31, South Elgin
Fee: $2/person

Snow Moon
Sunday, Feb. 9; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
Fee: $2/person


Groundhog Day Hike

Celebrate Groundhog Day -- or if you prefer -- Woodchuck Day! Join us on a search for the sleepy critter at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. Groundhogs (also known as woodchucks or even whistlepigs) are among the few native hibernators in our area. We'll take a hike in the woods to look for their tracks, talk about hibernation, and learn about their role in ecology. We may even see a groundhog looking at his shadow!

Sunday, Feb. 2; 10 - 11 a.m.
Les Arends Forest Preserve
2S731 Rte. 31, Batavia
FREE


Eagles on the Fox River

Learn about our national bird, the bald eagle, during a wintertime hiking exploration along the Fox River. During our riverside ramble, we'll search for eagles while the naturalist discusses this majestic bird's history, behavior, habitat and diet.

Saturday, Feb. 15; 10 - 11 a.m.
Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve
35W003 Rte. 31, South Elgin
FREE


Explore the Kane County Forest Preserves with a Naturalist Led Hike

Bring your group on an adventurous hike through one of our beautiful preserves! We'll cover many aspects of our local flora and fauna. Scout groups, school groups, etc., are welcome on our guided naturalist hikes! Contact us today to find out more about scheduling and fees. Call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com for more information.


Trek with a Naturalist

Get all your steps in during these evening hikes. Each month we'll take an invigorating two-hour hike at a different forest preserve. This program is designed for those who like active hiking. The naturalist will interpret the ecology of the preserve as we hike. Advance registration is required. Call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com to register.

Saturday, Dec. 7; 9 - 11 a.m.
Les Arends Forest Preserve
2S731 Rte. 31, Batavia
FREE

Saturday, Jan. 4; 9 - 11 a.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
FREE

Thursday, Feb. 20; 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Glenwood Park Forest Preserve
1644 S. River St., Batavia
FREE


Holiday Mixer

Join us for a year-end gathering to enjoy good company, refreshments and beverages from local craft breweries. Beautiful Creek Bend Nature Center will provide a festive setting to take a break from the go-go-go of the holidays. Explore the nature center and the 1930s era home, and learn about the history of this gem within LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. This program is for guests age 21 and older.

Friday, Dec. 13; 6:30 - 9 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Ticket: $15/person


Senior Stroll: Holiday Potluck

Bring your favorite holiday dish to share. We'll enjoy food and fellowship by the fireplace during this special year-end "senior stroll." be sure to bring your own place setting, so we can end the year on a "green" note! Seniors are invited to join district naturalists each month on a pleasant stroll in our natural areas. Each month we visit a different site, learning about the natural and cultural history of the area. During winter months, our strolls move indoors and feature a nature topic. No registration is required for this free program.

Thursday, Dec. 5; 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge
Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 Rte. 25, St. Charles
FREE


Senior Stroll: California Dreaming - From Ocean to Desert

Join Naturalist Barb McKittrick for a travelogue about her exploration of two very different California State Parks. At more than 600,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is California's largest state park. It's a wild and remote place covered with badlands, palm oases, slot canyons, and cactus-studded hills. Home to the rare Torrey pine tree, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is one of the wildest stretches of land on the Southern California coast, and boasts breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Barb will share the ecology and beauty of these two very different parks. Seniors are invited to join district naturalists each month on a pleasant stroll in our natural areas. Each month we visit a different site, learning about the natural and cultural history of the area. During winter months, our strolls move indoors and feature a nature topic. No registration is required for this free program.

Thursday, Jan. 2; 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
FREE


Senior Stroll: Blanding's Turtle Ecology and Conservation in Kane County

What moves slowly, can survive 70+ years, and often lives dangerously? Join us to find out as we learn from Forest Preserve Wildlife Biologist Bill Graser about the ecology and conservation of the Blanding's turtle in Kane County. We will discuss the turtle's habitat requirements, life history, population status, and effort underway to secure the species' future in Kane County. Seniors are invited to join district naturalists each month on a pleasant stroll in our natural areas. Each month we visit a different site, learning about the natural and cultural history of the area. During winter months, our strolls move indoors and feature a nature topic. No registration is required for this free program.

Thursday, Feb. 6; 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
The Barbara Belding Lodge
Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 Rte. 25, St. Charles
FREE


Anatomy of Trees: A Winter Sketching Workshop

We are fortunate to have professional local artist Tina Druce-Hoffman offer a series of workshops and classes centered around a nature theme. If you've always wanted to learn to draw, paint, or improve your artistic skills, any of our Fine Art Series programs are perfect for you! Bring a sketchbook and pencil to explore the anatomy of trees from direct observation in the field. No previous experience is necessary. Dress warmly to prepare for one-hour of outdoor observational drawing, and reference gathering using your smart phone. We offer two dates and locations for this workshop -- choose one that works best with your schedule! Note: This program is for ages 18 and above.

Thursday, Jan. 16; 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge
Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
Fee: $40/person

OR

Saturday, Jan. 18; 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $40/person


Landscape Painting for Teens and Adults

We are fortunate to have professional local artist Tina Druce-Hoffman offer a series of workshops and classes centered around a nature theme. If you've always wanted to learn to draw, paint, or improve your artistic skills, any of our Fine Art Series programs are perfect for you! This series of six classes constitutes a professional beginning course on painting landscapes in watercolor or gouache. Basic composition and theory will be discussed during this six-week program, with all classes meeting indoors. Note: This program is for ages 14 and above. A class supply list will be provided at registration.

Mondays -- Jan. 13 - Feb. 17; 6 - 9 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge
Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
Fee: $200/person

The following classes are taught by experts in the field and offer in-depth information and learning opportunities about our local ecology. This award-winning program series is cosponsored by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the Geneva Park District, and the St. Charles Park District. These programs are for ages 16 and up. Advance registration is required. Call 630-444-3190 or fill out this form to register.


Windmills in the Fox Valley: A Cultural History and Tour

This is your chance to get inside a 100+ year old working windmill! Join Head Miller Mark Rivecco for a morning learning about windmills in the Fox Valley area and touring the historic Fabyan Windmill in the Fabyan Forest Preserve. We'll start out with an indoor presentation at Creek Bend Nature Center, then caravan over to the Fabyan Windmill for a personal tour of the interior workings of this authentic Dutch windmill.

Saturday, Dec. 14; noon - 2 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Winter Tree Identification

During this class, you'll learn how to identify trees without leaves. There will be an introduction indoors, followed by a hike in the woods. We'll examine bark, branches, twigs, leaf scars and buds, to use for identification.

Sunday, Jan. 26; 9:30 - 11 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Conservation@Home -- Inviting Nature into Your Yard

Join Jim Kleinwachter of The Conservation Foundation to learn how to create a more eco-friendly yard. Under the Conservation@Home program, Jim helps teach homeowners how to reduce water run-off, increase wildlife habitat, and improve their soil. The benefits of doing so include reducing water and chemical use, creating more area for birds and butterflies, and minimizing time spent lawn mowing. This program will cover a variety of techniques for transforming your yard, including the use of rain barrels, rain gardens, and the selection and use of native plants to solve yard problems. Participants will receive a butterfly attraction and identification pamphlet, a native plant guide, and the option of getting a free yard evaluation from the Conservation@Home team.

Saturday, Feb. 15; Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Winter Wildlife Tracking

Our wildlife neighbors may be shy about showing themselves, but they certainly do not shy away from leaving evidence of their presence. Tracks, trail patterns, scat and other signs abound, and are particularly easy to find during the cold-weather months. We'll begin this interactive class indoors, with an overview of local fauna and tracking techniques, then head outdoors to practice what we've learned. You'll never look at 'bare' ground the same again.

Saturday, Feb. 1; 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person