REGISTRATION

Registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. To register for programs, use our Online Program Registration.

If you have any questions, call Creek Bend Nature Center at 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com. Thank you!


PAYMENT

Credit cards can only be accepted for online registrations. When registering via phone or email, required fees must be paid at the program with cash or check payable to the Forest Preserve District of Kane County unless otherwise noted. Checks can be mailed to:

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

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.


Program Waiver and Release

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County (FPDKC) is committed to conducting its programs and activities in a safe manner and holds the safety of participants in high regard. The FPDKC continually strives to reduce risks and insists that all participants follow safety rules and instructions that are designed to protect the participant's safety. All registrants will be asked to sign a waiver and release.


Photo Release

By registering for a program, you consent to and authorize the use of any photographs and other audiovisual materials for promotional purposes, including printed material, educational activities, exhibitions, or for any other use for the benefit of the District.


SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

Please let us know at least two weeks in advance by calling the program manager at 630-444-3191. 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: 630-444-3950 or 630-232-5980, TTY Relay: 800-526-0844, email 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

Registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. To register for programs, use our Online Program Registration.

If you have any questions, call Creek Bend Nature Center at 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com. Thank you!


StorY Time At Creek Bend Nature Center

Join a librarian from the St. Charles Public Library for read-aloud stories, finger plays, songs, and more during this fun program for children from infancy through age 5. If the weather is mild, we'll take the activities outdoors! Stay and enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Nature Center following the program and grab a take-home craft to continue the fun at your own house.

  • Wednesday, May 8; 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, June 12; 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, July 10; 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14; 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Creek Bend Nature Center
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE; no registration needed.


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, May 16; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. "Toadally Toads!"
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child; advance registration required.

Thursday, June 20; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. "Flippin' Frogs"
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child; advance registration required.

Thursday, July 18; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. "All A'Buzz for Pollinators"
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child; advance registration required.

Thursday, Aug. 15; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. "Crazy for Crayfish"
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $5/child; advance registration required.


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! Take one, two, or all three sessions. We'll provide the pedal kayak, safety equipment, kayaking instruction and fishing gear required to get you out on the water safely and catching fish effectively! Bring your own tackle box, water, sunscreen and a snack. For youth entering grades 6-12.

Thursday, June 27; 8-12:30 p.m.
Oakhurst Forest Preserve
1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora
Fee: $99/person; advance registration required.

Wednesday, July 17; 8-12:30 p.m.
Big Rock Forest Preserve
46W072 Jericho Rd., Big Rock
Fee: $99/person; advance registration required.

Tuesday, July 30; 8-12:30 p.m.
Grunwald Forest Preserve
02S035 Lorang Rd., Elburn
Fee: $99/person; advance registration required.


Summer Camps

Explore woodland wonders, get your feet wet in local streams, and learn new skills during these five-day nature camps! Naturalists will lead hikes, activities, games and nature-based crafts based on a different nature theme, each day. Summer camp is for two age groups: (1) Children entering 1st through 5th grades and (2) Children entering 5th through 8th grades. Register online at www.kaneforest.com/register, call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com. Detailed camp information will be provided upon registration.

June 10 - June 14; 9:00 a.m. - noon; "Summer Unplugged" *Kids entering grades 1st - 5th*
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
Fee: $149/child

June 17 to June 21; 9:00 a.m. - noon; "Nature-Built Games" *Kids entering grades 1st - 5th*
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $149/child

June 24 to June 28; 9:00 a.m. - noon; "Tracking & Survival" *Kids entering grades 1st - 5th*
Oakhurst Forest Preserve
1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora
Fee: $149/child

July 8 to July 12; 9:00 a.m. - noon; "A River Runs Through It" *Kids entering grades 1st - 5th*
Fabyan Forest Preserve
1925 Batavia Ave., Geneva
Fee: $149/child

July 15 to July 19; 9:00 a.m. - noon; "Circles of Life" *Kids entering grades 1st - 5th*
Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve
41W600 Hughes Rd., Elburn
Fee: $149/child

July 22 to July 26; 9:00 a.m. - noon; "Mad Science" *Kids entering grades 5th - 8th*
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $149/child


Walk and Roll! A Guided Stroller Experience

Feeling cooped up with your little one this summer? Then pack up your stroller and hit the trail for a naturalist-guided hike! We'll stick to paths that are friendly for your baby buggy, and point out interesting nature findings along the way.

Friday, Aug. 2; 9-10 a.m.
Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve
42W855 Bahr Rd., Hampshire
FREE


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!

REGISTRATION

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.

Registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. To register for programs, use our Online Program Registration.

If you have any questions, call Creek Bend Nature Center at 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com. Thank you!


Community science series

Community science is research conducted by amateur scientists -- people just like you! Community scientists learn more about the world around them while having a real impact on local land-management decisions and global-scale ecology solutions. We support a number of local community science efforts by conducting training programs to get you started collecting and submitting real-world data to conservation organizations.

Spring Ephemerals

Ephemerals are woodland plants that emerge early in spring, and flower before the trees leaf out. This spring, help track when and where spring ephemerals are emerging from March 1 - May 31 on your walks anywhere in Kane County (a forest preserve, a park, or your own back yard.) When you see a woodland wildflower, snap a photo and submit your observation on the free iNaturalist app under our project, Kane County, IL: Spring 2024 Ephemeral. We'll help you learn many of the different ephemeral flower species with plant identification signs -- sponsored by the Kane Forest Preserve Foundation -- along woodland walks in the following forest preserves. No registration required.

Friday, March 1 - Friday, May 31
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
FREE

Friday, March 1 - Friday, May 31
Bliss Woods Forest Preserve
5S660 Bliss Rd., Sugar Grove
FREE

Friday, March 1 - Friday, May 31
Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve
41W600 Hughes Rd., Elburn
FREE


The Cicadas Are Coming

Have you heard the news? Periodical cicadas are emerging in Illinois this summer! If you're wondering what's so special about this year's cicada emergence, then be sure to register for this interpretive program. District naturalists will have fascinating information to share as we hike along the trail in search of these unique, and raucous, insects!

Tuesday, June 18; 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Fabyan Forest Preserve West
1925 Batavia Ave., IL Rte. 31, Geneva
FREE; advance registration required.



YARN ART SOCIAL CIRCLE

Join Naturalist Erica for a monthly circle of conversation over yarn art. Bring your own knit, crochet, or other yarn art project to work within a group of like-minded yarn enthusiasts. Share tips and patterns with others while picking up pointers and ideas from friends old and new. Yarn crafters of all skill levels are welcome. Register for one class or the entire year! Children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, May 4; 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.

Saturday, June 1; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.

Saturday, June 29; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.

Saturday, July 27; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.

Saturday, Aug. 24; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.


Ephemeral Wildflower Series

During these naturalist-guided strolls through different Kane County woodlands, you'll discover the first flowers of the year as different species bloom throughout the season.

Mother's Day Wildflower Walk

Celebrate mothers everywhere as we discover the beautiful wildflowers emerging at a local forest preserve. The hike will involve activities for all ages. Adults will enjoy learning interesting wildflower botany and folklore, while the young at heart are sure to love a wildflower scavenger hunt. Bring the whole family!

Sunday, May 12; 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
FREE; advance registration required.


Creek Exploration SERIES

Get your feet wet in local waterways this summer! Our Fox River watershed is composed of streams, creeks and rivers that support a wealth of aquatic wildlife. Bring the whole family out to discover the unique riverine systems right in your own backyard. And what better way to learn about them than to actually get into them?

Fascinating Lives of Freshwater Mussels

While not particularly cute and cuddly, these mollusks are often overlooked and underappreciated. Join District naturalists as we discuss the fascinating life cycle of freshwater mussels and highlight their pivotal role in a healthy ecosystem. Be prepared to get wet as we wade in Tyler Creek in search of these remarkable organisms! Participants must wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet. Apply sunscreen and/or bug spray prior to the program.

Wednesday, June 19; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Tyler Creek Forest Preserve
401 Davis Rd., Elgin
FREE; advance registration required.

Crazy for Crayfish

Learn about the different types of crayfish that call Illinois home, including some species that are transplants to this region! We'll get into the creek to discover crayfish in their native habitats during this catch and release program. Register for one session only. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet. Apply sunscreen and/or bug spray prior to the program.

Tuesday, July 16; 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.

Thursday, July 18; 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.


Bird Watching Walks

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

Friday, May 17; 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
FREE; advance registration is required.

Sunday, June 23; 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Dick Young Forest Preserve
39W115 Main St., Batavia
FREE; advance registration is required.

Saturday, July 20; 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve
42W855 Bahr Rd., Hampshire
FREE; advance registration is required.

Sunday, Aug. 18; 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
FREE; advance registration is required.


Family Scavenger Hunt

Grab your family and friends to embark on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Meet a Naturalist at the preserve shelter to gather directions and supplies, and then hit the trails to see if you can find everything on the list! Once done, head back to the shelter to claim your prize on a first come, first serve basis.

Saturday, May 11; 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve
35W076 Villa Maria Rd., St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.


Dragonfly Migration

Did you know that, like Monarch butterflies, some dragonflies migrate? Learn about how and why various members of Family Odonata travel different distances as the seasons change. We'll walk a popular dragonfly habitat in search of early dragonfly arrivals in our region.

Friday, May 17; 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Pingree Grove Forest Preserve
14N187 Rte. 20, Pingree Grove
FREE; advance registration required.


Pollinators on the Prairie

Learn about the many different pollinating insects that can be found in local prairie communities. We'll hike through the grassland looking for pollinators and will highlight some of the more unusual species that are specially adapted to pollinating native plants.

Saturday, June 29; 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Blackberry Maples Forest Preserve
43W231 Main St., Elburn
FREE; advance registration required.


EcoLab: Skeleton secrets

What can bones tell us about the animal that left them behind? Amazingly enough, a creature's skeletal system holds a vast number of clues about its life. By understanding and leveraging these signs, we can deduce an animal's age, diet, and behavior -- true wildlife forensics! Ages 10 and above.

Saturday, July 13; 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
Fee: $5/person; advance registration required.


Prairie in Bloom

Tallgrass prairie isn't just colored in shades of green and yellow -- it explodes with all hues of the rainbow. Join a District naturalist as we stroll through the flowering prairie to see first-hand the diversity of plant species and colors that compose our beautiful prairie ecosystems.

Saturday, July 27; 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Pingree Grove Forest Preserve
14N187 Rte. 20, Pingree Grove
FREE; advance registration required.


6th Annual Rusty Rodeo

The Rusty Crayfish is a tiny aquatic creature that is an invasive species in Kane County. Help naturalists round up as many Rusty Crayfish as we can find in an effort to reduce their numbers! Families are encouraged to join naturalists in the water with dip nets to collect, identify and remove some Rusties. Prepare to get wet! Wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get muddy. We will have some dip nets to loan, but please bring your own, if possible. No registration required; Two locations available.

Saturday, Aug. 10; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
North Aurora Island Park
4 E. State St., North Aurora
FREE; no registration required.

Saturday, Aug. 10; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
West side of the Fox River at the Historic Piano Factory Pedestrian Bridge, off Indiana St. in St. Charles
FREE; no registration required.


Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing

Fingers crossed for clear skies as we look skyward for the annual Perseid meteor shower! A naturalist will help hone your stargazing skills as we seek out the constellation Perseus and the meteors associated with it. Learn about the legend of Perseus and nearby constellations. Leave your flashlights at home, but bring a chair and blanket so you can relax and comfortably view the night sky.

Sunday, Aug. 11; 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
$2/person; advance registration required.


Orienteering for Beginners

Have you ever felt lost in a forest preserve? Do you have a compass in a drawer, but are not sure how to use it? Naturalists will teach you the map and compass skills needed to stay un-lost, while demonstrating how to follow clues and landscape features to keep yourself on course. Gain the confidence needed to enjoy the art of orienteering. Ages 9 and above.

Tuesday, Aug. 13; 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
$2/person; advance registration required.


Geocaching 101

If you have a sense of adventure and love a good treasure hunt, join one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world -- geocaching. We'll teach you how to use a GPS handheld device and demonstrate the workings of the geocaching app. After learning the basics, you'll embark on a trail walk to discover the caches hidden in the forest preserve. Bring a fully charged smartphone; we will provide GPS units for use. Ages 9 and above.

Saturday, Aug. 31; 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center/LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
$2/person; advance registration required.


Explore the Kane County Forest Preserves with a Naturalist-Led Hike

Feeling isolated and need to get outdoors with others? Longing to learn more about the natural world as you get your heart pumping? Bring your family, book club, or any other private group to the preserve of your choice for a guided hike with a District naturalist. We'll tailor the experience to the age and interests of your group -- keeping it healthy, fun and educational!

90 minutes
Any Kane County forest preserve
Fee: $25/group


REGISTRATION

Registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. To register for programs, use our Online Program Registration.

If you have any questions, call Creek Bend Nature Center at 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com. Thank you!


Senior Stroll

Seniors are invited to join District naturalists each month to explore a different preserve and learn about the natural and cultural history surrounding the land. Dress for the weather - these outdoor programs celebrate the change in seasonal surroundings! Each meeting includes a pleasant ramble lasting about an hour, followed by social time in the shelter. *The January program is an indoor travelogue. The February program will go back to the outdoor stroll.* No registration required for this free program.

Thursday, May 2; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Bliss Woods Forest Preserve
5S660 Bliss Rd., Sugar Grove
FREE; donations accepted; no registration needed.

Thursday, June 6; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Fabyan East Forest Preserve
1500 Crissey Ave., IL Rte. 25, Geneva
FREE; donations accepted; no registration needed.

Thursday, July 11; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Pingree Grove Forest Preserve
14N187 Rte. 20, Pingree Grove
FREE; donations accepted; no registration needed.

Thursday, Aug. 1; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tyler Creek Forest Preserve
401 Davis Rd., Elgin
FREE; donations accepted; no registration needed.


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, May 19; 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Bliss Woods Forest Preserve
5S660 Bliss Rd., Sugar Grove
FREE; advance registration required.

Sunday, June 16; 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve
42W855 Bahr Rd., Hampshire
FREE; advance registration required.

Sunday, July 14; 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Fitchie Creek Forest Preserve
39W933 Russell Rd., Elgin
FREE; advance registration required.

Sunday, Aug. 11; 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Pingree Grove Forest Preserve
14N187 Rte. 20, Pingree Grove
FREE; advance registration required.


Trek with a Naturalist

Get your 10,000 steps in during these invigorating naturalist-led hikes. This monthly program is designed for those who like active hiking all year long. We visit different preserves each month. The Naturalist will stop occasionally to interpret the ecology of the preserve as we walk - but the main goal is to cover ground! This program is for ages 18 and above.

Thursday, May 16; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Lone Grove Forest Preserve
49W055 Perry Rd., Maple Park
FREE; advance registration required.

Thursday, June 20; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Barnes Forest Preserve
39W001 Prairie St., Aurora
FREE; advance registration required.

Thursday, July 18; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Burnidge Forest Preserve
14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin
FREE; advance registration required.

Thursday, Aug. 15; 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve
13N240 Engel Rd., Burlington
FREE; advance registration required.


Explore the Fox River by Kayak

Our 2024 kayaking series begins with a beginner's lake-based paddling skills class, followed by shorter and less-strenuous river sessions. As the summer progresses, choose increasingly longer and more technical paddles for intermediate skill levels. Participants will receive dry-land instruction on basic kayaking techniques from an experienced instructor each session, and then hit the water to practice these skills. Participants meet at the take-out location and are shuttled to the put-in location. Choose any number of sessions to take. Boaters must be at least 16 years old and be able to hold 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.

Saturday, June 1; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Meeting at: Oakhurst Forest Preserve; 1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora
Paddle Distance: Less than 1 mile/ Skill Level: Novice Skills Training
Fee: $69/person (includes use of kayak, personal floatation device and paddle.) Advance registration required.

Sunday, June 23; 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Meeting at: Fox River Shores Forest Preserve; 716 Williams Rd., Carpentersville
Paddle Distance: 4 miles/ Skill Level: Beginner
Fee: $89/person (includes use of kayak, personal floatation device and paddle.) Or provide your own kayak for $45/person. Advance registration required.

Sunday, July 14; 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Meeting at: Voyageur's Landing Forest Preserve; 50 Airport Rd., Elgin
Paddle Distance: 4-5 miles/ Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Fee: $89/person (includes use of kayak, personal floatation device and paddle.) Or provide your own kayak for $45/person. Advance registration required.

Saturday, Aug. 17; 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Meeting at: McCullough Park; 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora
Paddle Distance: 5.5 miles with portage/ Skill Level: Intermediate
Fee: $89/person (includes use of kayak, personal floatation device and paddle.) Or provide your own kayak for $45/person. Advance registration required.

Saturday, Sept. 21; 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Meeting at: Fox River Shores Forest Preserve; 716 Williams Rd., Carpentersville
Paddle Distance: 6 miles with picnic lunch/ Skill Level: Intermediate
Fee: $89/person (includes use of kayak, personal floatation device and paddle.) Or provide your own kayak for $45/person. Advance registration required.

Sunday, Oct. 6; 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Meeting at: McCullough Park; 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora
Paddle Distance: 5.5 miles with portage/ Skill Level: Intermediate
Fee: $89/person (includes use of kayak, personal floatation device and paddle.) Or provide your own kayak for $45/person. Advance registration required.


The National Park Service in Our Region: Places To Experience Our Cultural History

While popular images of the National Park Service (NPS) often focus on spectacular scenic sites in the American West or significant historic sites out east, the NPS has a meaningful presence in and near Illinois. National Monuments and Trails, National Heritage Areas, National Historic Landmarks, and sites on the National Register of Historic Places contribute to our understanding of the region's cultural history in tangible, visible forms that make "history come alive." As significant as these sites are, some remain less known and underappreciated. Dr. Norm Moline, an Illinois Humanities Road Scholar who also has served on the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council, will showcase some culture-related National Monuments and National Heritage Areas in our state, National Historic Landmarks in northern Illinois, and National Register of Historic Places in Kane County. Discover the cultural history that is literally right before our eyes! Ages 18 and above.

Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

Saturday, Aug. 3; 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
FREE; advance registration required.


Women's Weekend: A Nurturing Nature Retreat

Immerse yourself in a restorative weekend in nature with a community of women nature lovers. Connect with like-minded souls during moderate outdoor activities as we explore the benefits of nature walking, botanizing, yoga, artistic creation and other therapeutic pursuits. Overnight participants need to provide a tent and sleeping gear; you are welcome to leave for the evening to sleep in your own bed, and then return the following morning. We'll supply snacks, all meals, activity instruction and supplies, and access to indoor bathrooms, shower, and kitchen. Ages 18 and above.

Saturday, Sept. 7; 10 a.m. - Sunday, Sept. 8; 10 a.m.
Camp Tomo Chi-Chi Knolls
40W095 Freeman Rd., Gilberts
$149/person; advance registration required.


Become a Citizen Scientist

Want to make your own contribution to local ecology and conservation efforts? Take part in a Citizen Scientist project! We offer training classes for many citizen science efforts, including the Calling Frog Survey, Singing Insects Monitoring, and the Illinois Odonate Survey. You're sure to find a project well-suited to your interests and time availability. For the most up-to-date training workshop information, call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com.

REGISTRATION

Registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. To register for any of our "Learn from the Experts" programs, call 630-444-3190, or email programs@kaneforest.com. Telephone reservations are accepted Monday - Thursday, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Payment is due at the program, with checks payable to Geneva Park District. No online registration is available for Learn from the Experts programs.


Learn from the experts programs

These classes about local ecology are taught by experts in the field. This award-winning program series is co-sponsored by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the St. Charles Park District, and the Geneva Park District. These programs are for ages 18 and above.


Welcome Back, Brood XIII

Seventeen years after we last saw--and heard--them, the periodical cicadas of Brood XIII are predicted to return to our area in late May and early June. This class will begin and end at Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve. After an introduction to their life cycle and a brief overview of their history in eastern Kane County, we will proceed to Third Street in Geneva to observe the insects in action. Register for one session only, not both.

Saturday, June 1; 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve
719 Batavia Ave., Geneva
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.

Wednesday, June 5; 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve
719 Batavia Ave., Geneva
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.


Start in Your Yard

Native plantings are all the rage...for good reason. Kane County Wild Ones members Kim Haag, Nancy Lamia and Jean Muntz will demonstrate how to get started planting natives in your own yard. They will explain the Start in Your Yard Initiative, including details of how it began, what it involves, and how you can get involved.

Tuesday, June 11; 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Barbara Belding Lodge at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve
6N921 IL Rte. 25, St. Charles
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.


Farms and Barns

Farms and barns comprised the landscape of Kane County for many years. Today, farms are being sold and old barns are being left to decay. But there are a few places where we can take a trip back in time to learn about the history of our farm culture and how barns played a vital role in farm life. Join Jerome Johnson on a tour of the restored barns at Garfield Farm & Tavern Museum, exploring how each barn was constructed to meet the needs of crop plants, farm animals, and their human caretakers.

Thursday, June 27; 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Garfield Farm & Tavern Museum
3N016 Garfield Rd., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.


Fish Species of the Fox River

Adam Dagley will explore the wide variety of fish species commonly found in the Fox River and surrounding rivers in northern Illinois. He will also discuss the impact of fish on aquatic systems, the eating habits of regional fish species, and locations where these fish can be found. Learn how environmental factors contribute to the presence or lack thereof of a given species. This promises to be a great program for all existing and potential anglers!

Thursday, July 11; 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Peck Farm Park Orientation Barn
4038 Kaneville Rd., Geneva
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.


It's the Bombus!

A bumblebee's a bumblebee, right? Yes, and no. In Illinois, there are twelve species of bumblebees, collectively known by their genus name Bombus. They play a critical role in the ecology of our prairies and woodlands. In this presentation, you'll learn about bumblebee diversity, ecological niches, and efforts to preserve and protect this important group of pollinators. We'll begin with an indoor presentation, then head out to the prairie to find different species at work. Choose either of the two sessions.

Saturday, July 20; 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.

Tuesday, July 23; 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.


Our Urban Forests

Our valuable and beautiful trees don't all grow in forest preserves. Trinity Pierce, Chicago Region Trees Initiative Stewardship Manager at The Morton Arboretum, will explore the local urban tree canopy using mapping data and an interpretive tree walk. She will highlight the importance of species diversity and suggest excellent native trees that can thrive in cities, towns and suburbs in northern Illinois. Learn about planting the right tree in the right place, and about other opportunities for community forestry engagement.

Tuesday, Aug. 20; 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Creek Bend Nature Center at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St., St. Charles
Fee: $10/person; advance registration required.