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

Woodland Wildflower Walk

Sunday, May 3

2:00 pm

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Upcoming Programs for All Ages

Your interest may be the deciding factor to run a program!  Most programs require advanced registration. Click HERE for a program registration form.  Please try to register at least 7 days in advance.  Waiting until the last minute may result in a program being canceled due to low enrollment or missing out because it is full. Please register for classes by sending in a registration form, calling 309.874.2174 or emailing register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org.

Happy New Year!
The Nature Center Building will be closed Thursday, January 1. The grounds, trails, and Imagination Grove will remain open.

Please note: Portions of the grounds, including Imagination Grove and the Picnic Shelter, will be closed to the public during Maple Sirup Field Trips and programs. Dates and times will be announced on our Facebook page and voicemail.

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, January 3; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Theme: Winter Birds
Saturday, February 7; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Theme: Signs of Animals in Winter
There will be no Family Nature Exploration Day in March due to the Maple Sirup Experience Tours.
Free; no registration required.
Bring the family out at any time throughout the day. Learn about our theme of the month and create a fun make-and-take craft. A guided hike will take place at 11:00 a.m. and don’t miss the feeding of the turtles, snakes, and other critters at 1:00 p.m.!

Maple Sirup Experience Tours
Saturday, March 7; 2-1/2 Hour tours begin at 9:30 a.m., 12:00, and 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $5/adults, $3/children (16 & under) members, $7/adults, $5/children non-members; registration & prepayment required.
Gather around the fire at the sirup camp to learn how the Native Americans and early settlers collected and prepared sap. Visit the sugar shack where the smell of maple sirup hangs in the air. Journey into the sugarbush to tap a tree. Stop inside the Nature Center to sample a variety of sweet treats made with maple sirup including candy, cookies, fudge, salads, and more! Dress for the weather, as you will be outside for a major portion of the program. Experience an important part of Funks Grove heritage!

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Venus and Jupiter
Saturday, March 21; 7:45-9:45 p.m.
Free; no registration required.
Don’t miss the first Public Viewing Session of the year! Two remarkable different planets will be gracing the evening sky. One is hot and rocky, and the other is cold and gaseous. A 20-30 minute presentation on the featured topic will be followed by a sky tour using a laser pointer and telescope observing. Programs will be held even in the event of an overcast sky. The presentation will be given and tours of the Sugar Grove Observatory will be available.  Active rain, however, will cause a cancellation of the event. When uncertain if a session has been cancelled, call Tom at (309) 830-0167 or Lee at (309) 824-2804 after 6:00 p.m. For additional information, visit www.tcaa.us.

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturday, January 17; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Saturday, February 21; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Saturday, March 21; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Free; no registration required.
The public is invited to observe members of the Illinois Valley Blacksmith’s Association as they work at the forge across the parking lot from the Nature Center.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturdays, January 17, February 21, & March 21; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Free; no registration required.
Acoustic musicians of all levels are invited to join an Irish-music jam session at the Nature Center. Bring your instrument to play along or just enjoy the music!  For more details, contact Martha Tyner
at mtyner@iwu.edu.