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
 
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Upcoming Programs for All Ages

For those programs requiring 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. 

To Register for a program requiring registration, please click the program title!

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Sessions
Saturday, April 14; 8:00-10:00 p.m.: Galaxies - Deep Space Wonders
Saturday, May 19; 8:45-10:45 p.m.: Our Magnificent Moon
Saturday, June 16; 9:00-11:00 p.m.: Jupiter - The King of the Planets
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, but active rain will cause a cancellation of the event.  When uncertain if a session has been cancelled, check for updates on Facebook (Twin City Amateur Astronomers - TCAA) or twitter (@tc_astro).  For more information, visit www.tcaa.us. Free.  No registration required.

Garlic Mustard Smackdown
Sunday, April 15; programs will start on the hour, 1:00, 2:00, & 3:00 p.m.
Garlic mustard is our forest’s number one nemesis! It is an exotic, invasive plant that crowds out the native Virginia bluebells and other spring wildflowers. No experience is necessary and any age can take part. It is as easy as pulling weeds! A short presentation will let you know what it looks like, where you can find it, and why it is so important to get, and keep, it under control. Armed with knowledge and a garbage bag, your guide will lead you to a patch where you can start pulling! If you enjoy viewing the spring forest wildflowers, we encourage you to help us keep them plentiful!
Fee: Free, no registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session                      
Saturdays, April 21, May 19, & June 16; 10:00 a.m.-noon   
Acoustic musicians of all levels are invited to join an Irish-music jam session!  Bring your instrument or just enjoy the music!  For more details, email mtyner@iwu.edu.     
Free. No registration required.  

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturdays, April 21, May 19, & June 16; 10:00 a.m.-noon                                                          
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.  
Free. No registration required.   

Campfire & S’mores Program: The Birds of Spring
Saturday, May 12; 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Families are invited to learn about birds commonly found at nearby feeders and how to identify them. Kids will get to make their own feeder to take home. The program will conclude with bird nest s’mores around the campfire!
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members. Registration and payment required by May 8. 

National Trails Day Celebration
presented by the Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists,with a special presentation by The Illinois Raptor Center
Saturday June 2; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Check-in at National Trails Day Celebration Headquarters to pick up your hiking passport and begin your journey! A variety of activities will take place in the Nature Center, on the grounds, and throughout the trails. The Illinois Raptor Center will be on hand with a hawk, falcon, owl, and eagle! Take part in guided hikes led by Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists or explore on your own. Enjoy fun activities, make a nature craft, mix up your own trail snack, and take a trail selfie. Learn about mammals and the signs that they leave behind as well as the diversity of bird life in Funks Grove! This event will feature activities and hikes for adults, families with children, and even leashed four-legged friends. Special opportunities for Boy and Girl Scouts are planned, too! We encourage you to pack a picnic lunch and plan to stay all day!
FREE Admission! No registration required.

Campfire & S’mores Program: Food Chains
Friday, June 8; 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Typically, food chains are explained using plants and animals in the wild. In addition to these traditional examples, we’ll discover how s’mores fit in! With a new appreciation of this tasty treat, we’ll experience them becoming a part of the food chain first hand, as we make and eat them by the fire!
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members. Registration and payment required by June 5. 

The Great American Campout
Saturday, June 23; 1:00 p.m.-Sunday, June 24, 10:00 a.m.
After a year on hiatus, we are excited to bring back the Great American Campout! Grab your sleeping bag and tent and join us as we celebrate the great outdoors! Enjoy nature-related crafts and activities with your family. Guided hikes will be offered, including a special glow light night hike! Play in the creek, explore Imagination Grove, or relax by the fire. Roast hot dogs for a dinner along with chips, sides, and of course, dig into s’mores for dessert. In the morning, a light breakfast will be served. We expect this to fill up fast, so register soon!
Fee: $12/person members, $15/person non-member; ages 3 & under free.Registration and payment required by June 16.