I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ~ John Muir, 1913
Featured Events

Maple Sirup Experience Programs

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Upcoming Programs for Adults

Unless otherwise specified, programs require advanced registration and payment.  Space is limited.  Classes could be cancelled if minimum enrollment is not met by the registration deadline.  Please contact us for availability after the registration deadline has passed. 

2 Simple Ways to Register for Programs Requiring Adavance Registration:
1. ONLINE by clicking the program title below
2. BY MAIL using this form 

Happy Trails Hikes

Second Thursday of the Month at 10:00 a.m.
January 12; February 9; March 9
, 2017
This adults-only hike will go on and off trail, in search of any and all things of interest. Show up with a good pair of hiking shoes and a sense of adventure!
Free; no registration required.

Winter Backyard Bird Watching Basics & Lunch

Friday, January 13, 2017
10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Winter brings many new birds to our backyards! Not sure what birds are visiting your feeders or need a refresher? Learn how to identify more than 30 winter residents and how to attract them, as well as how you can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February.  After the program fill a bowl with chili or soup and cuddle up in the Bird Viewing Room to practice your identification skills while you enjoy lunch!  Take home resources and win prizes too!
Fee: $10/members, $15/non-members.  Registration and payment required by January 10.

Tree & Shrub Pruning Workshops

Saturday, January 21 or Wednesday, January 25
10:00 a.m.-noon

Join Trees Forever’s Certified Arborist Debbie Fluegel to learn how, when, and why to prune.  She will share basic pruning techniques to keep your trees and shrubs growing strong and looking great!  The class will also include a hands-on demonstration outside. Participants are asked to dress for the weather and bring hand pruners and hand saws, if they have them.
Fee: $10/members; $15/non-members.  Registration and payment required by January 13.

Macro Photography, Animal Portraits
Saturday, January 14; 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Ages 16+, younger by permission only

Photographer John Tobias will guide you through the use of your camera’s close-up feature or macro lens using the Nature Center Education Animals as models!  Capture the essence of turtles, snakes, and more.  Bring a digital camera with a close-up mode or macro lens, fully charged batteries (or extra batteries), and a memory card that can hold up to 100 images.  No cell phone cameras, please.
Fee: $25/members, $30/non-members.  Registration and payment required by January 6.

Chainsaw Training; Level 1: Chainsaw Safety and Directional Felling
Friday, February 17th, 2017
8:00 a.m .- 5:00 p.m.
Join Jay Hayek, an Extension forestry specialist in the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences at the Univ. of Illinois, to learn all about the safe operation of gas-powered chainsaws. Many topics will be discussed including safety and personal protective equipment, saw operation and safety features, body mechanics, safe starting procedures, cutter tooth parts, baic saw maintenace, chain filing, saw reactive forces, and much more! Participants will also be introduced to basic directional felling techniques and basic binds: Compression, tension, and spring poles. All participants are required to use the cutting and felling methods shown by the instructor.
Fee: $40/Sugar Grove Nature Center Members; $50/non-members (no refunds for no-shows)
Space is limited to 10 participants.  Registration and payment are required by February 10.

A Toast to Nature: Woodcocks & Wine
Wednesday, March 22, 6:30 p.m.
You must be at least 21 years old to attend this program.

These ground-nesting birds exhibit one of the most delightful courtship flights just before dawn and at dusk. Join us to learn more about this fascinating game bird that returns to fields, prairies, and pastures throughout central Illinois in mid-March.  Head outside to (hopefully) spot them as they spiral toward the sky and fall to the ground. Bring your lawn chair, wine glass, and favorite wine. We’ll also have some wines to sample from local wineries.
Fee: $10/members, $12/non-members.  Registration & payment required by March 15.