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
 

 

Hummingbird Festival
&
Pollination Celebration

Saturday, Aug. 29 2015

Click here for more information.

 
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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.   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. Unless specified otherwise, please register for classes by calling 309.874.2174 or emailing register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturday, July 18; 10:00 a.m.-noon 
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 stop out to just enjoy the music!  For more details, contact Martha Tyner at mtyner@iwu.edu.
Free; no registration required.

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturday, July 18; 10:00 a.m.-noon
The public is invited to observe and interact with members of the Illinois Valley Blacksmith’s Association as they work at the forge across the parking lot from the Nature Center. Watch as they heat, bend, and twist metal to create functional and/or decorative art!
Free; no registration required.

 Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Celestial Motions
Saturday, July 18; 9:00-11:00 p.m.
Learn about celestial motions that are taking place as we sleep and over the course of a day, a month, and a year.  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 Observatories 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.
Free; no registration required.

Imagination Grove Fun Day
Wednesday, July 29; 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
While Imagination Grove, our nature play area, is open daily, we have designated this special day for you to meet other like-minded families that enjoy and appreciate nature-based play. Bring a nature item from home to trade at the Nature Trading Post: shells, nuts, rocks, or anything else you would like to trade. We will supply lemonade and snacks, you bring energy and imagination!
Free, although a donation such as birdseed, sugar (for hummingbirds), or toilet paper would be appreciated. See our website for complete wish list.  No registration required

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, August 1; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Bring the family out at any time throughout the day to enjoy the fresh air and natural surroundings.  Create a fun make-and-take craft, take a guided hike at 11:00 a.m. and don’t miss the feeding of the turtles, snakes, and other critters at 1:00 p.m.!  Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it!
Free; no registration required.

 Campfire Program: Creek Creatures
Friday, August 14; 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Bring the family out for a relaxing evening at the Nature Center.  Learn all about creatures that live in the creek without getting wet!  After the program, we’ll create a fun craft, then enjoy s’mores and beverages around the campfire.
Fee: Free/members, $5/person non-members. Registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session    
Saturday, August 15; 10:00 a.m.-noon   
Free; no registration required.   
See July 18 for details.   

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturday, August 15; 10:00 a.m.-noon   
Free; no registration required.   
See July 18 for details
   
Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Buying Binoculars & Telescopes
Saturday, August 15; 8:30-10:30 p.m. 
Whether you are looking to buy for yourself or for a child interested in astronomy, this is your opportunity to learn how to buy a basic telescope of good quality without being ripped off by misleading – and even false – advertising.  From the serious astronomer to those who have never looked into a telescope before, the TCAA will help guide you to choose the equipment that is right for you.  In addition to a short presentation, they will conduct a laser-guided sky tour and have telescopes set up for viewing.  Programs will be held even in the event of an overcast sky. The presentation will be given and tours of the Sugar Grove Observatories will be available.  Active rain, 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.
Free; no registration required.

Hummingbird Festival & Pollination Celebration
Saturday, August 29; 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Plan to attend our 9th Annual Hummingbird Festival & Pollination Celebration!  Celebrate hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies – the vital pollinators for countless varieties of plant life in Funks Grove.  Enjoy entertainment, education, food, and fun at this FREE event!

What is pollination and why are pollinators important?  Join us to find out!  All ages are encouraged to learn about hummingbirds and other pollinators from experts during programs, guided hikes, and garden tours.  Browse an assortment of products available from
Wild Birds Unlimited of Normal.  Visit with Wild Ones members to learn about native landscaping. Buzz on down to our Sap & Honey House to see a bee hive up-close, sample honey, and learn from members of the Illinois State University Beekeeping Club!  Children will especially enjoy watching puppet shows, making crafts, and overcoming obstacles in a life-sized game of migration.

We are excited to welcome back Vern Kleen of Springfield, Illinois, to the Festival again this year.  Vern is one of the few licensed hummingbird banders in the United States.  During the day he will demonstrate trapping, banding, and releasing hummingbirds.  Celebration participants will have the chance to “adopt” a bird to receive updates if it is recaptured.

Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sugargrovenaturecenter.org to find a complete listing of events and updated information as the festival approaches.

Free admission, no registration required.

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, September 5; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Bring the family out at any time throughout the day to enjoy the fresh air and natural surroundings.   Create a fun make-and-take craft, take a guided hike at 11:00 a.m. and don’t miss the feeding of the turtles, snakes, and other critters at 1:00 p.m.!  Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it!
Free; no registration required. 

Campfire Program: Moths
Friday, September 18; 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Bring the family out for a relaxing evening learning all about the lives of moths.  After the program, we’ll create a fun craft, then enjoy s’mores and beverages around the campfire.
Fee: Free/members, $5/person non-members. Registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturday, September 19; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Free; no registration required.   
See July 28 for details.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Shine on Harvest Moon
Saturday, September 19; 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Farmers harvest their crops by the light of the silvery moon.  Learn how the moon’s motions change from month to month, and why the time between moonrises changes daily.  In addition to a short presentation, we will conduct a laser-guided sky tour and have telescopes set up for viewing.
For cancelation policy, see August 15.  For additional information, visit www.tcaa.us.
Free; no registration required.

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, October 3; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Free; no registration required. 
See August 1 for details.