COVID-19 EXPECTATIONS

  • Please wear a mask.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 50 people.
  • 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

  • Please wear a mask.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 50 people.
  • 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 some stories told by the St. Charles Public Library staff. Virtually explore the outdoors at Creek Bend Nature Center, and learn how you can create beautiful things with natural materials. This popular series moves online for the summer season, with each new program posted on the St. Charles Public Library Channel on YouTube. Registration is not required for Story Time programs.

  • Wednesday, July 8
  • Wednesday, July 22
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5
  • Wednesday, Aug. 19
  • Wednesday, Sept. 16
  • Wednesday, October 14
  • Wednesday, November 18

Virtual/Online
St. Charles Public Library YouTube Channel

FREE


STEM in Nature Day Camp - CANCELLEd

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 - CANCELLED
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


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, Sept. 17; 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child

Thursday, Oct. 15; 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child

Thursday, Nov. 19; 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child


passport to adventure

Take an adventure this summer at area museums with the Passport to Adventure program. Participating sites include Creek Bend Nature Center at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles, the Fabyan Villa Museum in Geneva, the Durant House Museum and Pioneer Sholes School at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. The passport program encourages children and their parents to visit a variety of history, nature, science and art museums to explore the people, events and environment of the area. Children ages 4-12 will experience the world around them through exhibits and activities at each site they visit. This program is sponsored by the Illinois Parks & Recreation Association, the Kane-DuPage Regional Museum Association and a host of other partner agencies. Passports are available in late May at Creek Bend Nature Center. Call 630-444-3190 for more information.

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

  • Please wear a mask.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 50 people.
  • 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.


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.

Sturgeon Moon
Sunday, Aug. 2; 7:45 - 8:45 p.m.
Grunwald Farm Forest Preserve
02S035 S. Lorang Rd., Elburn
Fee: $2/person

Harvest Moon
Tuesday, Sept. 1; 7:45 - 8:45 p.m.
Dick Young Forest Preserve
39W115 Main St., Batavia
Fee: $2/person

Hunter Moon
Thursday, Oct. 1; 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Pingree Grove Forest Preserve
14N187 US-20, Hampshire
Fee: $2/person

Blue Moon
Saturday, Oct. 31; 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.
Les Arends Forest Preserve
2S731 State Rte. 31, Batavia
Fee: $2/person

Beaver Moon
Monday, Nov. 30; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve
41W600 Hughes Rd., Elburn
Fee: $2/person


Youth Kayak Fishing Experience

Get out on local lakes with a professional kayak fishing instructor from Chi-YaK Adventures. Using water crafts specifically designed for anglers, you're sure to get into secret spots not reachable from shore. Whether you're looking to learn the skills involved in fishing from a watercraft, or to pick up a few pointers for improving your angling skills, this is the program for you! Choose from half-day camps or a full-day workshop -- taking one, two, or all five sessions. We'll provide the pedal kayak, safety equipment and kayaking instruction to get you out on the water safely and catching fish effectively. All you need to bring is a fishing pole and tackle box. We require registration at least one week prior to the program and full payment at the time of registration. This program is for youth entering grades 8-12. To register, call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com.

Thursday, July 9; 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Oakhurst Forest Preserve
1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora
Fee: $99/person

Thursday, July 30; 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Grunwald Farms Forest Preserve
02S035 S. Lorang Rd., Elburn
Fee: $99/person

Thursday, Aug. 6; 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Big Rock Forest Preserve
46W072 Jericho Rd., Big Rock
Fee: $99/person

Thursday, Aug. 15; 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Oakhurst Forest Preserve
1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora
Fee: $149/person

Nature Stories by the Campfire

Let's go for a short hike, then gather 'round the warm glow of a fire to hear the sounds of night, as well as campfire stories. Learn legends about coyote "the trickster" and his friends through these fun and interactive tales. All stories are family friendly, so join us one and all. As an added bonus, we'll provide the s'mores!

Friday, Aug. 28; 8 - 9 p.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $2/person


Sunset Splendor Hike

Come see the prairie carpeted in wildflowers and illuminated by the brilliant glow of the setting sun. This is a hike through the open plains with wide sweeping views. Listen to the chorus of birds and insects as they celebrate another day.

Friday, July 10; 7:30 - 8:45 p.m.
Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve
42W797 Rohrsen Rd., Hampshire
FREE


Singing Insects

The late summer soundscape is amazingly beautiful and intricate. Venture out to explore the world of nocturnal singing insects with a Naturalist. Before heading into the field, we'll learn about the calls of some of the more common evening music-makers, then use our new-found listening skills to get up close and personal with some of the songsters.

Friday, July 24; 7 - 8 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE


breakfast with a naturalist

What better way to start your day than with a steaming cup of coffee and a brisk trek through woods and prairie? District Naturalists will provide the coffee and treats prior to heading out on a hike to discover all that the season has to offer. You will also have the opportunity to explore the amenities at two local forest preserve campgrounds that each offer more than 85 improved vehicle campsites as well as primitive tent-only sites and equestrian campsites.

Saturday, Aug. 22; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Paul Wolff Campground
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
FREE


Snake Search

Join us for a fun "snake safari" as we look for native snakes at beautiful LeRoy Oaks. The program will begin with a brief lesson on snake identification, and then it is out into the field to look for some local examples. The naturalist will demonstrate different methods used in snake research, and will address some misconceptions people have about these reptiles.

Sunday, July 12; 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/person


special private movie screening event! - CANCELLED

Have you heard about the local piping plovers that have captivated bird lovers and nature enthusiasts? "Monty and Rose" tells the story of a pair of endangered piping plovers that successfully nested at Chicago's Montrose Beach in the summer of 2019 -- the first species to nest in Chicago in 64 years. The short, independent documentary by local filmmaker Bob Dolgan, chronicles these special birds and their legendary role in a proposed music festival that propelled the birds to national fame. "Monty and Rose" features interviews with key players in the story, including biologists, birders, volunteers, and the advocates who spoke out when the music festival was proposed. Join us after the screening for a Q&A session with the film producer, event co-sponsors Kane County Audubon and Forest Preserve District of Kane County, and other birding experts.

Tuesday, July 7; 7 - 8:30 p.m. - CANCELLED
Barbara Belding Lodge
Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
Fee: $5/person


hiking for health

Head outdoors and take the first step toward a healthy lifestyle! Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, help alleviate attention deficits, and stimulate general good health. We'll hike to explore nature, while doing some invigorating exercises and fun nature activities along the way.

Saturday, July 18; 10 - 11 a.m.
Aurora West Forest Preserve
40W032 Hankes Rd., Aurora
FREE

Sunday, Aug. 30; 10 - 11 a.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
FREE

Saturday, Sept. 19; 10 - 11 a.m.
Oakhurst Forest Preserve
1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora
FREE

Saturday, Oct. 24; 10 - 11 a.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
FREE

Sunday, Nov. 22; 10 - 11 a.m.
Aurora West Forest Preserve
40W032 Hankes Rd., Aurora
FREE


Pop-Up NaturalistS

The nature center comes to you in these pop-up naturalist programs at local campgrounds that are located within two biodiverse forest preserves!

I Love Pollinators Pop-UP

There's a lot to love about pollinators! About one out of every three bites of food we eat depends on pollinators for production. Pollinators are also needed for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants. Stop by the Pop-Up Naturalist tent to learn about our native pollinator species and discover things you can do to help them succeed.

Saturday, July 11; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Paul Wolff Campground
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
FREE

TREES & THEIR LEAVES POP-UP

Drop into the Pop-Up Naturalist program to discover the wonder of trees. Learn techniques for identifying different tree species and get acquainted with the trees that call Illinois home. You can even wander into the woods with a naturalist for an interpretive tree hike.

Saturday, Sept. 12; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Big Rock Campground
Big Rock Forest Preserve
46W499 Granart Rd., Big Rock
FREE


Rusty Rodeo

There are underwater invaders in our local streams and rivers and we want you to help us find them! Our culprit is the Rusty Crayfish, a tiny aquatic creature that is an invasive species in Kane County. Help naturalists round up some rowdy Rusty Crayfish in an effort to reduce their numbers. Families are encouraged to join us in the water with dip nets to collect, identify, and remove Rusties. You might even find the biggest of these varmits, or collect the greatest number of them. Prepare to get wet! Wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get muddy. This is a joint-program of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the Fox Valley Park District, and the St. Charles Park District.

Satuday, July 18; 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Glenwood Park Forest Preserve
1644 S. River St., Batavia
FREE


Life Long Learner Series: Wonders of the Earth

There are wonders all around us. This indoor, interactive presentation is the first session of a new quarterly series of Life Long Learners classes - suitable for all ages. From the smallest snowflake to a shooting star, the Earth is made up of amazing things. During this session, learn how some trees can predict the weather and why insects are so strong. After attending our Life Long Learners series, you will see the world in a whole new way!

Tuesday, July 28; 3 - 4 p.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/person


Harvest of the Acorn Moon Festival - CANCELLED

Save-the-Date! Our fall festival is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 27, from 12-3 p.m. at Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin! This festival has free admission and is for all-ages.

Sunday, Sept. 27; 12 - 3 p.m. - CANCELLED
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
FREE Admission


Oaktober celebration series:

Welcome autumn

Celebrate the arrival of Autumn on this fun and informative hike. Find out the meaning of "equinox" and learn about the changing trees, including oaks, and what they go through this time of year. We'll also discuss how local animals are preparing for the chilly temperatures ahead.

Tuesday, Sept. 22; 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE

TREE SEEDS HIKE

Savor this Saturday in autumn to search out seeds in preparation for OAKtober! We'll discuss different types of tree seeds, their special and unique adaptations, and the plants from which specific seeds arise.

Saturday, Sept. 26; 10 - 11 a.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
FREE

Acorn-to-oaks planting workshop

The mightiest oaks start with a little acorn! Learn about our different natvie oak species and take a hike around LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve to observe the unique characteristics of a variety of trees, including several oaks. Complete your experience by decorating a pot and planting your own oak tree to take home.

Sunday, Oct. 18; 10 - 11 a.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/pot

WITNESS TREES

Have you ever looked at a giant tree, perhaps a big oak, and wondered what historical events it experienced during its lifetime? Some of these impressive trees are called "witness trees" and they have a special place in the history of Illinois. Surveyors in the early 1800s relied on witness, or "bearing" trees as landmarks for creating the earliest state land surveys and plat maps. During this webinar, we'll share the history of Illinois' witness trees and provide tools for you to discover witness trees in your own area!

Thursday, Nov. 19; 10 - 10:45 a.m.
Virtual
To register: click here.
FREE

nature's bounty

Autumn isn't harvest time for just us humans. Our woodlands provide crucial sustenance for local wildlife just before the harsh winter hits. This informative hike will examine the fruits, nuts and other food sources animals find within our forest preserves.

Thursday, Nov. 19; 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin
FREE


autumn bird walk

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

Sunday, Sept. 20; 9 - 10 a.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE

Thursday, Oct. 8; 9 - 10 a.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
FREE


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 3 Releases Thursday, Sept. 17; 10 a.m.
Virtual
Listen here.
FREE

Episode 4 Releases Thursday, Nov. 19; 10 a.m.
Virtual
Listen here.
FREE


Nature's ornaments

Join us to create some eco-friendly decor for the holidays using items we find right in our backyard!

Saturday, Nov. 21; 9:30 - 11 a.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE


Nature in a nutshell: Species spotlight - Squirrels of kane county

The bushy tailed friends we see every day in our yards and parks aren't the only squirrels native to Kane County. Join us and learn about all of the species of squirrels that inhabit both the tree tops and subterranean realms of our forest preserves.

Thursday, Nov. 12; 10 a.m.
Virtual
View the video here.
FREE


temporary nature art

We will inspire you to use your artistic tendencies out in nature, using nature! In this virtual program, we'll share a few examples of artwork that you can make in your local forest preserves, without harvesting or damaging the natural habitat in the process.

Thursday, Sept. 10; 10 a.m.
Virtual
View the video here.
FREE


Nature in a nutshell: Preserve highlight - fabyan forest preserve

With over 100 preserves encompassing more than 20,000 acres, 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, Oct. 15; 10 a.m.
Virtual
View the video here.
FREE


spooky tales on the trails

Are you prepared for a chill and a thrill? Come out to this evening program to enjoy the nighttime trails and hear stories about the creatures that lurk in our natural areas after dark. Following the hike, we will gather around a campfire, roast marshmallows and listen to a few spooky tales.

Friday, Oct. 23; 6 - 7:30 p.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $2/person


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

  • Please wear a mask.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 50 participants.
  • 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.

Thursday, July 16; 6 - 8 p.m.
Barnes Forest Preserve
39W001 Prairie St., Aurora
FREE

Thursday, Aug. 20; 6 - 8 p.m.
Campton Forest Preserve
4N379 Town Hall Rd., St. Charles
FREE
Thursday, Sept. 17; 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Aurora West Forest Preserve
40W032 Hankes Rd., Aurora
FREE

Thursday, Oct. 15; 4 - 6 p.m.
Raceway Woods Forest Preserve
17N702 Western Ave. Rte. 31, Carpentersville
FREE

Thursday, Nov. 7; 9 - 11 a.m.
Oakhurst Forest Preserve
1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora
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, July 2; 10 a.m. - Noon
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve - Great Western Trail entrance
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE

Thursday, Aug. 6; 10 a.m. - Noon
Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve
42W797 Rohrsen Rd., Hampshire
FREE

Thursday, Sept. 3; 10 a.m. - Noon
Les Arends Forest Preserve
2S731 Rte. 31, Batavia
FREE

Thursday, Oct. 1; 10 a.m. - Noon
Tyler Creek Forest Preserve
401 Davis Rd., Elgin
FREE

Thursday, Nov. 5; 10 a.m. - Noon
Blackberry Maples Forest Preserve
43W231 Main St., Elburn
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, July 12; 9 - 10 a.m. - CANCELLED
Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve
12N882 Engel Rd., Sycamore
FREE

Sunday, Aug. 16; 9 - 10 a.m.
Hannaford Woods Forest Preserve
441 Courtney Cicrcle, Sugar Grove
FREE

Sunday, Sept. 13; 9 - 10 a.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
FREE

Sunday, Oct. 4; 9 - 10 a.m.
Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve
35W076 Villa Maria Rd., St. Charles
FREE

Sunday, Nov. 8; 9 - 10 a.m.
Freeman Kame-Meagher Forest Preserve
40W346 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
FREE


learn to kayak

Tour our local waterways during these paddling adventures! Our 2020 kayaking series begins with a lake-based basic paddling skills class, followed by shorter and less strenuous river sessions for beginners. As the summer progresses, choose increasingly longer and more technical paddles for intermediate skill levels. Each session, participants will receive dry-land instruction on basic kayaking techniques from an experienced instructor. Then, we'll take to the water for a naturalist-led exploration of the fascinating local ecology. Participants meet and park at the take-out location and are shuttled to the put-in location. Choose any number of sessions to take. Boaters must be 16 years or older and be able to hold their breath under water while wearing a properly fitted life jacket; independently turn from a face down to a face-up position keeping head above water; effectively communicate with the instructor and other participants; and manage all mobility and personal care independently or with the assistance of a companion. Registration is required at least one week prior to the program and full payment is due at the time of registration. Fees: Single kayak rental - $69/person for Session 1 and $85/person for Sessions 2-6. (Includes use of kayak, personal flotation device and paddle.) Or, provide your own kayak for Sessions 2-6 for $45/person.

Sunday, July 19; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Ferson Creek Park
8 North Ave., St. Charles
Fee: $85/person (Includes use of kayak, personal flotation device, and paddle.) Or, provide your own kayak for $45/person.

Sunday, Aug. 2; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Ferson Creek Park
8 North Ave., St. Charles
Fee: $85/person (Includes use of kayak, personal flotation device, and paddle.) Or, provide your own kayak for $45/person.

Sunday, Sept. 13; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Glenwood Forest Preserve
1644 S. River St., Batavia
Fee: $85/person (Includes use of kayak, personal flotation device, and paddle.) Or, provide your own kayak for $45/person.

Sunday, Oct. 11; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
McCullough Park
150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora
Fee: $85/person (Includes use of kayak, personal flotation device, and paddle.) Or, provide your own kayak for $45/person.


KCCN Information Session

Want to learn about Kane County's fastest-growing nature-education program for adults? Attend the free informational session to find out what all the excitement is about! During this introduction, you'll learn about the dates, details, cost, and tremendous benefits of this award-winning program.

The mission of Kane County Certified Naturalists is to promote awareness and citizen stewardship of Kane County natural resources through science-based education and community service. KCCN is a cooperative program of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the St. Charles Park District, and the Geneva Park District.

Thursday, Nov. 12; 7 - 8 p.m.
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
3795 Campton Hills Dr., St. Charles
FREE


Holiday Mixer

Join us for a year-end gathering to enjoy good company, party games, refreshments and beverages from local craft breweries. Beautiful Creek Bend Nature Center will provide a festive setting to take a break from the frenzy 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. 11; 6:30 - 9 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles


COVID-19 EXPECTATIONS

  • Please wear a mask.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Group sizes will be limited to 50 participants.
  • 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.


Nature After Dark

Hey night owls, this program is for you! Join us for an exploration of the nocturnal world beyond the glow of the porch light. Firefly bioluminescence; moths' use of pheromones; bats and echolocation; citizen science opportunities -- these are just a few of the topics we'll tackle during this evening of indoor and outdoor investigation.

Friday, July 10; 8:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
3795 Campton Hills Dr., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Bee Positive: On the Trail of Native Bees

Join native bee expert Terry Miesle for an engaging look at some of our area's hardest-working pollinators. He will introduce some of the more common bee families like Apidae -- the large group that includes bumbles and carpenters -- plus Andrenidae, Megachilidae, and the colorful Halictidae, or sweat bees. Because small groups are best, this class will be offered over three sessions. Please sign up for only one time slot.

Saturday, Aug. 8; 8 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.; or 11 a.m.
Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve
35W003 Rte. 31, South Elgin
Fee: $10/person


Advanced Odonate Identification

If you want to take your odonate identification skills to the next level, this advanced class is for you! Cathy White will return to share key identification characteristics of odonate anatomy, including wing venation, color patterns, and the unique reproductive organs of each sex that contribute to the amazing acrobatics of the order Odonata. We'll head outside in the second half of the workshop to capture and identify species using our new skills. Bring an insect net, wading boots, and a hands lens.

Sunday, Aug. 16; 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


browsing the webs: Spider facts and field session

September is the best time of year to study our local arachnofauna. Individuals are at peak size and prey is plentiful, so reproduction can progress. We'll review the most common families and go over some spider biology indoors before heading out to put our new skills to use.

Saturday, Sept. 12; 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


corn: the history and impact of Illinois' most important crop

Despite the miles upon miles of corn planted in the Midwest, few residents understand the plant's origins or the crop's impact on modern life. In the early nineteenth century, corn was a dietary staple; it was ground into meal for baking and cooking, dried and cooked for food, and even distilled into whiskey. More commonly, though, it was fed to livestock. Corn was particularly important for fattening hogs, since pork was the meat that preserved best in early days. Today, entire industries are based on corn. From food and food additives like corn sweeteners to chemicals, plastics, livestock feeds, food supplements, and ethanol, this plant originally developed by the early peoples of the Americas is found everywhere. Farm hobbyist and corn enthusiast Chuck Bauer will share the fascinating story behind Illinois' most abundant and important crop!

Tuesday, October 13; 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Fabulous Fox Water Trail

Did you know that agencies in Wisconsin and Illinois have partnered with the National Park Service to create the Fabulous Fox Water Trail? Karen Miller, Executive Planner with the Kane County Development Department, will explain the work that has been done to create the water trail and will share with us the exciting recreational and stewardship opportunities that are now available right in our own backyard. She'll discuss ongoing efforts to earn National Water Trail status for the Fox River and show how this designation would further increase public access and help protect and restore the waters and natural areas along the river. Our Fox River is a priceless and beautiful resource. Join us to learn how you can enjoy the river and support the drive towards a National Water Trail designation!

Saturday, Oct. 17; 10 a.m. - Noon
Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person


Fall Tree Identification

Studying trees in Autumn can offer rewards as well as challenges. As leaves change color and fall to the ground, one must focus on other features for proper identification. Join a District Naturalist on this informative hike, and learn the growth habits, ecological significance and identifying features of our local trees.

Sunday, Nov. 1; 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Elburn Forest Preserve
45W061 Rte. 38, Elburn
Fee: $10/person