COVID-19 EXPECTATIONS

  • Masks are required for all programs.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 10 people, effective Nov. 11, 2020.
  • Stay home if you are sick, or if you have been in contact with someone who is ill.

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.

COVID-19 EXPECTATIONS

  • Masks are required for all programs.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 10 people, effective Nov. 11, 2020.
  • Stay home if you are sick, or if you have been in contact with someone who is ill.

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.


Walks, Talks & Stories at Creek Bend Nature CEnter

Enjoy a virtual story, explore Creek Bend Nature Center, and learn how you can create beautiful things with nature! We'll provide the materials needed to do the take-home craft. Each month, we'll release a new video featuring a book read by a librarian with the St. Charles Public Library and a fun craft for you to do at home. Stop into Creek Bend Nature Center to see the video on each release date and we'll provide you the the take-home craft items.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 16; 10 a.m., 11 a.m. & Noon
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13; 10 a.m., 11 a.m. & Noon
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17; 10 a.m., 11 a.m. & Noon

FREE


little saplings

In this monthly program geared for 3-5 year-olds, we'll explore the natural world through a variety of activities specific to the theme of the month. Sessions include a combination of stories, nature hikes, songs, games, or crafts. A parent or caregiver must accompany child.

Thursday, Dec. 17; 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. "Let it Snow!"
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child

Thursday, Jan. 21; 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. "Scurrying Squirrels"
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child

Thursday, Feb. 18; 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. "Beavers and Bark"
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child


Week in the Woods Summer 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 grades 1st - 6th. Advance registration is required. Call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com to register. Detailed camp information will be provided upon registration.

Monday, June 21 - Friday, June 25; 9 a.m. - Noon "Tracking & Survival"
Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve
41W600 Hughes Rd., Elburn
Fee: $125/child

Monday, July 12 - Friday, July 16; 9 a.m. - Noon "STEM in Nature"
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
Fee: $125/child

Monday, July 26 - Friday, July 30; 9 a.m. - Noon "Summer Unplugged"
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $125/child


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!

COVID-19 EXPECTATIONS

  • Masks are required for all programs.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 10 people, effective Nov. 11, 2020.
  • Stay home if you are sick, or if you have been in contact with someone who is ill.

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.


Exploring by Snowshoe

Don't let a little snow stop you from getting out to enjoy nature! Snowshoeing is fun and easy and is the perfect way to explore our forest preserves in the winter. If you've never snowshoed, join us to learn the basic skills needed to be comfortable and competent. After mastering skills like stride length, heel-toe step, and climbing over obstacles, we'll hit the trail for a naturalist-guided hike through the winter wonderland. Attend one or all four sessions! Fees will be collected at the program, with payment by cash or check required and includes: equipment rental, skills training, and guided hiking. We require registration and shoe size at least 1 week prior to the program.

Wednesday, Dec. 30; 10 a.m. - Noon
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $25/person

Sunday, Jan. 31; 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
Fee: $25/person

Monday, Feb. 15; 1-3 p.m.
Dick Young Forest Preserve (Nelson Lake Rd. entrance)
2S326 Nelson Lake Rd., Batavia
Fee: $25/person

Thursday, March 4; 1-3 p.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
Fee: $25/person

WINTER SOLSTICE RAMBLE

Say goodbye to autumn and celebrate the arrival of winter on this informative walk where we'll learn about both the natural and cultural significance of the solstice. Remember to dress for the weather.

Monday, Dec. 21; 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $2/person


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.

Cold Moon
Tuesday, Dec. 29; 4:15 - 5:15 p.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $2/person


out & About podcast

The natural world is loaded with interesting learning opportunities, and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County has over 20,000 acres to explore! Stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in the District, and have some fun with Naturalist Josh Libman as we highlight the wonderful ways to enjoy our open spaces.

Episode 5 Releases Thursday, Dec. 31
Virtual
Listen here.
FREE

Episode 6 Releases Thursday, Feb. 25
Virtual
Listen here.
FREE


NATURE IN A NUTSHELL: PRESERVE HIGHLIGHT - Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve

With over 100 properties, there's plenty to see and do in your Kane County forest preserves. Join a Naturalist as we explore the beauty and biodiversity of some of our favorite preserves during each episode of this virtual program series.

Thursday, Dec. 17
Virtual
View the video here.
FREE


A Refreshing New Year

Start 2021 off right with a peaceful hike through the crisp winter woods. We'll listen for seasonal birds, look for wildlife tracks, and enjoy a healthful walk while enjoying trailside company. Bring the whole family!

Friday, Jan. 1; 9 - 10 a.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE


Winter in the Woodlands

On those cold winter days, many animals tend to stay out of the wind to keep warm. The woodlands help provide them with shelter. We'll take a hike through the woods to see how our local animals survive harsh Illinois winters.

Sunday, Jan. 17; 10 - 11 a.m.
Campton Forest Preserve
4N379 Town Hall Rd., St. Charles
FREE


Animal Tracking Hike

Have you ever been out hiking and seen footprints in the snow or mud? Ever wondered what might have been chewing on that twig? Or who left those jelly-bean shaped animal droppings? On this hike, we'll get outside and learn to identify many of the different signs left by local wildlife.

Saturday, Feb. 13; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Bowes Creek Forest Preserve
9N420 Crawford Rd., Elgin
FREE


Birding the Winter Rivershore

Enjoy the changing seasons as we hike, look, and listen for the birds inhabiting our forest preserves this winter. District Naturalists will cover basic bird identification skills and share a few interesting stories along the way.

Friday, Jan. 22; 9 - 10 a.m.
Fox River Shores Forest Preserve
701 N Williams Rd., Carpentersville
FREE


Preserve highlight - Guess This Preserve

Can you "Guess this Preserve?" Check out the Forest Preserve District's social media pages on Jan. 14 to test your knowledge of our local natural areas. A Naturalist will share photos, facts, riddles and video clips to help you solve the preserve mystery and submit your best guess. Find out if you are a true nature detective!

Thursday, Jan. 14
Virtual


APPalachian Trail: A Wilderness Experience

Join Environmental Education Manager Barb McKittrick for a travelogue about her backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. Barb will present the history of the trail and the ecology of this beautiful party of the country.

Thursday, Jan. 28; 10 - 11 a.m.
Virtual - Zoom Webinar
To register, click here.
FREE


Animal Seasonal Adaptations

Winter can be a challenging season. Ice, snow, and frigid temperatures will leave any hiker desperate for the comfort of a cozy fireplace. Our local wildlife do not have the same luxury and have to adapt to the changing seasons in all manner of interesting ways. Tune in to learn about how their survival depends on adaptation!

Thursday, Feb. 11
Virtual
View the video here.
FREE


Trailside Nature Smartphone Apps

Take your enjoyment of nature to another level with this interactive exploration of smartphone Nature Apps. These amazing tools are available to anyone with a smartphone and can enable you to identify any number of plants, birds and other natural organisms when on the trail. We'll put these apps to the test in real time as we explore forest and prairie habitats. Please bring a smartphone with the ability to download and install apps. This program is for ages 10 and above.

Sunday, Feb. 21; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE


Night Out With Nature Games

Calling all gamers! Get out of the house on a winter's night to enjoy the company of other game enthusiasts. We'll provide a variety of strategy and cooperative games - all with a nature theme. Come join us for some gaming enjoyment and we'll even supply the refreshments! This program is for ages 10 and above.

Friday, Feb. 26; 7 - 9 p.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/person


Maple Sugaring in the Digital Age

Want to learn the history and process of maple tree tapping and syrup production but can't join one of our maple sugaring events in person? Jump into this virtual tour to explore the fascinating world of maple syrup!

Thursday, March 4
Virtual
View the video here.
FREE


SAVE THE DATE - Maple Sugaring Days: Saturday, March 6 & Sunday, March 7

We'll hold two days of maple tapping fun, on Saturday, March 6 & Sunday, March 7, from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Creek Bend Nature Center, located within LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve.


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.


COVID-19 EXPECTATIONS

  • Masks are required for all programs.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 10 people, effective Nov. 11, 2020.
  • Stay home if you are sick, or if you have been in contact with someone who is ill.

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. 5; 9 - 11 a.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
FREE
Saturday, Jan. 9; 9-11 a.m.
Fox River Shores Forest Preserve
701 N Williams Rd., Carpentersville
FREE
Thursday, Feb. 25; 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Bowes Creek Forest Preserve
9N420 Crawford Rd., Elgin
FREE


senior stroll

Seniors are invited to join District Naturalists each month on a leisurely stroll through a Kane County forest preserve. Note: To register for this program or for any questions, call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com. No refreshments will be served at this time.

Thursday, Jan. 7; 10 a.m. - Noon
Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve
41W600 Hughes Rd., Elburn
FREE

Thursday, Feb. 4; 10 a.m. - Noon
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
FREE

Thursday, March 4; 10 a.m. - Noon
Bliss Woods Forest Preserve
5S660 Bliss Rd., Sugar Grove
FREE


Nurtured by nature

Experience the healing effects of nature. Studies show that time outdoors can relieve stress, boost your immune system, improve sleep, and contribute to overall good health. During this new monthly series, we'll incorporate gentle stretching, deep breathing, and a focus on awareness during these hikes designed to nurture the mind, body, and spirit. This program is for ages 18 and above.

Sunday, Dec. 6; 9 - 10 a.m.
Fox River Shores Forest Preserve
701 N Williams Rd., Carpentersville
FREE

Sunday, Jan. 3; 10 - 11 a.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE

Sunday, Feb. 28; 10 - 11 a.m.
Les Arends Forest Preserve
2S731 State Rte. 31, Batavia
FREE


Kane County Certified Naturalist Classes (Virtual or In-Person)

Kane County Certified Naturalists (KCCN) is an in-depth environmental education program for adults, combining both classroom and field experiences in Kane County's natural areas. The mission of KCCN is to build a community of well-informed citizens who apply their ecological knowledge and skills to habitat restoration, environmental education, and community service. There are six core classes in Jan. & Feb. and four field trips in April & June. NEW this year, we have three options to become a certified naturalist. 1) In-person classes and field trips; 2) Virtual classes and in-person field trips; 3) Virtual classes only (no field trips) -- this option will not include official KCCN certification. To register, visit www.genevaparks.org. To register for the Virtual classes only ($150), the registration code is: 5411901-03. For the Virtual classes and in-person field trips ($300), the registration code is: 5411901-02. And for the in-person classes and field trips ($300), the registration code is: 5411901-01. For more information, call 630-444-3190 or email KCCN@kaneforest.com.

Virtual Classes - Online via Zoom, from 6-8:30 p.m.:
Jan. 6; Jan. 13; Jan. 20; Jan. 27; Feb. 3 & Feb. 10

In-Person Classes - Discovery Knolls Discovery Center, from 6-8:30 p.m.:
Jan. 7; Jan. 14; Jan. 21; Jan. 28; Feb. 4 & Feb. 11


COVID-19 EXPECTATIONS

  • Masks are required for all programs.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 10 people, effective Nov. 11, 2020.
  • Stay home if you are sick, or if you have been in contact with someone who is ill.

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.


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 and use these for identification.

Sunday, Jan. 24; 9:30 - 11 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Hot Tent Winter Camping: Skills and Gear Needed to Enjoy Winter in Warmth and Style!

Do you love winter but hate feeling cold? Do you wonder what the term "hot tent" means? Learn the answers to these questions and about the gear and skills needed to enjoy your next camping adventure in a winter wonderland. Our instructor will cover the essentials of camping with a packable wood stove. He will provide advice for choosing the right camping location and picking the gear that fits your needs and budget, plus share tips on clothing options, food preparation and more!

Sunday, Jan. 2; 9 - 11 a.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
Fee: $10/person


Six Legs and Counting

You don't need to travel far to explore the ecology of our region. A legion of insects, spiders and assorted arthropods live nearby -- sometimes literally under our noses! We'll review the orders and families of the creatures that cohabitate with us in our human environments (our houses, garages, basements and sheds) and embark on a 'field' session exploring the nooks and crannies in and around Creek Bend Nature Center.

Saturday, Jan. 16; 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Backyard Chickens 101

Chickens are smart and interesting animals that are fun to get to know and raise. Imagine having your own supply of brown, blue, olive and pink freshly laid eggs every day! This class is for curious people who are considering raising backyard chickens, as well as for those who already have their own birds and who want to learn more. Discover the latest about local laws, raising chick, caring for adult birds, and keeping your neighbors happy.

Wednesday, Feb. 17; 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Stephen D. Persinger Recreation Center
3507 Kaneville Rd., Geneva
Fee: $10/person


Bird Nests

Winter is a great time to get to know your feathered neighbors -- even though they may be hundreds or thousands of miles away. Many bird species apply definitive 'signatures' to their nests using specific materials; nest size and location will also provide important clues as to their builders. An indoor slideshow will be followed by outdoor exploration, weather permitting.

Saturday, Feb. 6; 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
3795 Campton Hills Dr., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


In Search of Giants: The Kane County Big Tree Registry

Learn how to find and document Kane County's biggest trees and become a champion! The Kane County Big Tree registry encourages citizens to appreciate, record and report the largest native trees in the county. This workshop will begin with classroom instruction covering tree measurement techniques and protocol. Then, we'll head outdoors to practice.

Sunday, Feb. 7; 10 - 11 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person