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
 

 

2016

Summer

Nature Study

Registration

 

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Upcoming Programs for All Ages

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. 

Visit www.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, April 2; 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.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Jupiter and its Moons
Saturday, April 2; 8:00-10:00 p.m.
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, 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.

Group Trail Run
Tuesdays; 5:30 p.m.
April 5, 12, 19, 26
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
June 7, 14, 21, 28
Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove invites you to venture on out to enjoy the trails (or roads if you prefer) on Tuesday evenings through November 1.  The usual trail route is 5 miles, and is well marked.  Easy-to-follow road routes of 4 or 7 miles are also an option.  Runners of various paces attend and distances can be modified.  Don’t miss the post run party in the corn crib!  Refuel and refresh while socializing with others.  Last year was our first trail run series and it was a big hit!  Snacks and water are provided, and you are encouraged to bring other beverages.  Make it an adventure to look forward to each week.  
Free, donations appreciated.  No registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturday, April  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.
FreeNo registration required.

Blacksmith Demonstrations                                   
Saturday, April  16; 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.
Free.  No registration required.

Campfire Program: Earth Day Celebration
Friday, April 22; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Celebrate Earth Day by eating s’mores around a campfire!  Play nature games and learn what you can do to help keep planet Earth healthy!
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.  Registration and payment required by April 20.

Wildflower Hike
Sunday, May 1, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Illinois Buffer Partnership Program, Trees Forever will be hosting 15 events throughout Illinois during 2016.  Join Debbie Fluegel from Trees Forever on a hike through Funks Grove to discover and learn about spring woodland wildflowers.  Please dress appropriately for the weather and walking the trails. 

Trees Forever is an environmental non-profit in Illinois and Iowa whose mission is to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community and promoting stewardship.  Check the website, www.treesforever.org, for more upcoming events.
Fee: Free for members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or Trees Forever, $8/non-members.  Registration and payment required by April 25.

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, May 7; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
See April 2 for details.
Free.  No registration required.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Galaxies Galore
Saturday, May 7; 8:00-10:00 p.m.
See April 2 for details.
Free.  No registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturday, May 21; 10:00 a.m.-noon
See April 16 for details.
Free.  No registration required.

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturday, May 21; 10:00 a.m.-noon
See April 16 for details
Free.  No registration required.

Campfire Program: Moss
Friday, May 27; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
What kind of plant has no roots, no stems, and no flowers?  Moss!  Bring the family out to learn all about it then go for a hike in search of mats and clumps of moss.  We’ll also create a fun craft and enjoy s’mores around the fire.
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.  Registration and prepayment required by May 25.

National Trails Day
Saturday, June 4; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Description TBA
Free.  No registration required.

Imagination Grove Fun Day
Thursday, June 9; 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. Stop out anytime between 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., and 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.

Campfire Program: Family Nature Play
Friday, June 10; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Engage the whole family in nature play!  Loosely guided activities will have you stacking, building, tearing down, and building again!  Finish off the evening around the fire enjoying s’mores and lemonade.
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.  Registration and prepayment required by June 8

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Moons of the Solar System
Saturday, June 11; 8:30-10:30 p.m.
See April 2 for details.
Free.  No registration required.

Inside Out Accessible Arts Fair: A Collaboration Between Inside Out: Accessible Art Cooperative & Sugar Grove Nature Center
Saturday, June 18; 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Inside Out: Accessible Art and Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove are planning an amazing art-centered collaborative outdoor experience for all ages!  Artists from downtown Bloomington and approximately 25 artist members of Inside Out: Accessible Art, will be on hand for this show and sale of original art.  Each artist will donate a percentage of their sales to benefit Sugar Grove Nature Center.  Art demonstrations, talks, trail activities, and hands on activities for kids of all ages will be scheduled throughout the day.  Guests are encouraged to build Fairy Houses and create Environmental Art along Imagination Grove Trail!  Interested area artists are welcome to bring their supplies and join in an open plein air painting event that will take place throughout the day.  Performing artists and other local organizations, such as the Irish Music Jam Session, Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association, with more to come!

Food will be available for purchase and bringing you own picnic is encouraged.  More activities are being added as the planning continues. Sugar Grove Nature Center staff and Inside Out: Accessible Art Cooperative members are holding this event to further their shared missions of education and service to our local communities. We hope you will watch our websites and social media pages and share the invitation to this event with friends and family!
Free.  No registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session                         
Saturday, June 18; 10:00 a.m.-noon
See April 16 for details.
Free.  No registration required.                                  

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturday, June 18; 10:00 a.m.-noon
See April 16 for details.
Free.  No registration required.

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, July 2; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
See April 2 for details.
FreeNo registration required.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Moons of the Solar System
Saturday, July 2; 9:00-11:00 p.m.
See April 2 for details.
FreeNo registration required.

Campfire Program: Nature Scavenger Hunt
Friday, July 8; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Search high and low, near and far (but not too far!). Find everything on this scavenger hunt and be rewarded with s’mores and lemonade!
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.  Registration and prepayment required by July 6. 

Imagination Grove Fun Day
Saturday July 9, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
See June 9 for details
Free, donations of bird seed or sugar for our hummingbirds is appreciated.  No registration required.