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 Tours

Saturday, March 5; 2016

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Upcoming Programs for All Ages

Unless otherwise specified, programs require advanced registration and payment.  Visit http://sugargrovenaturecenter.org/register.html to register and for more information.  For questions, email register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org or phone 309.874.2174

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, January 2; anytime between 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Bring the family out at any time throughout the day.  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.!
Free; no registration required.

Campfire & S’mores Program: Winter Birds
Saturday, January 23, 2:30 p.m.
This family program will be all about the birds that can be found in our area in winter.  Some stay year-round, others migrate here!  Make a simple bird feeder to keep their bellies full, then make s’mores to fill your own belly!
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.  To register call 309.874.2174 or email register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org. 

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session    
Saturday, January 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   
Saturday, January 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.
    
Imagination Grove Fun Day

Saturday, January 23; anytime between 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Why should summer get to have all the fun?  We’ll have the fire roaring, the marshmallows ready for roasting, the s’mores set, and hot chocolate on tap.  Bundle up the family and come out for some winter fun in Imagination Grove!
Free; no registration required.

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, February 6; anytime between 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
There will be no Family Nature Exploration Day in March due to the Maple Sirup Experience Tours.
Bring the family out at any time throughout the day.  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.!
Free; no registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session    
Saturday, February 20; 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   
Saturday, February 20; between 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.

Maple Sirup Experience Tours
Saturday, March 5; 2-1/2 Hour tours begin at 9:30 a.m., 12:00, and 2:30 p.m.
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!
Fee: $5/adults, $3/children (16 & under) members, $7/adults, $5/children non-members. Registration and payment required.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: The Great Nebula of Orion
Saturday, March 5; 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Don’t miss the first Public Viewing Session of the year! You can see the closest stellar nursery with your eyes. We’ll show it to you close-up and share some of the wonderful and mysterious things happening there.  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.
Free; no registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session    
Saturday, March 19; 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   
Saturday, March 19; between 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: In Search of the Timberdoodle
Friday, March 25, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Also called the woodcock, the male bird can be seen in early spring spiraling into the sky then plummeting downward, hoping to impress the ladies!  After hearing their story, we’ll head outside where we will hopefully be able to spot them, then enjoy s’mores around the fire!
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.  To register call 309.874.2174 or email
register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org. 

Tom Ulrich, Nature Photography at IWU
Monday, March 28; 7:00 p.m.

This special presentation is hosted by the Illinois Wesleyan University Environmental Studies Program in Room C101 of the Center for Natural Sciences Building.*

Every year, Tom Ulrich makes a stop on his spring photo tour on behalf of Sugar Grove Nature Center, delighting his audience with amazing photographs and humorous narration.  Mr. Ulrich, a highly acclaimed nature photographer, is celebrating forty years as a full time nature photographer!  This year’s presentation, “Stock and What-Not,” will take us on a photographic journey of the past 40 years, featuring photos of nature from around the world as well as Glacier National Park in Montana where he resides.  His narration includes insight on photo technique and animal behavior and is always riddled with humor.  His work as been featured in National Geographic, National Wildlife, Time, Audubon, and many other publications.  He has published several books, field guides, and calendars, presents photography workshops around the country and leads tours to remote parts of the world.  Please join us on this spectacular photographic journey!

*The Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) Building at Illinois Wesleyan University is located at 201 Beecher, just east of Main Street.  Parking is available just north of the CNS and east of the Hansen Student Center.

Fee: Members of Sugar Grove Nature Center $5/adult, $2/children under 12; Non-Members $7/adult, $3/children under 12; College & University students, free with ID.  No registration required, program fee will be collected at the door.