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 Programs

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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. 

2 Simple Ways to Register for Programs Requiring Advance Registration:
1. ONLINE by clicking the program title below
2. BY MAIL using this form 

Leave That Willow Bee: Pollinators Need Trees and Shrubs, too!
Saturday, April 15 and Friday, May 12; 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Information about pollinator habitat often focuses on blooming plants that pollinators rely on during the summer months. Join Debbie Fluegel, from Trees Forever, to learn how trees, shrubs, and associated woodland plants benefit from pollinators, particularly as food sources in early spring when pollinators begin to emerge and in the winter when plants can be incorporated into existing or new conservation plantings and start planning your plant purchases at the Illinois Prairie Chapter of Wild Ones Natuve Plant Sale on Saturday, May 20th from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Evergreen FS Building on Hershey in Bloomington. This presentationis for everyone who has an interest in providing habitat for pollinators including homeowners, farmers, acreage owners, and community members.
Fee: $10/member of Nature Center or Trees Forever; $15/non-members.
Registration and prepayment required.

Bird House Building Workshop

Saturday, April 22; 11:00 a.m. - Noon
Join us to build a bird house at this exciting workshop! The house will attract House Wrens, as well as Chickadees and Nuthatches while the entry hole is small enough to exclude House Sparrows. All materials are hand cut and pre-drilled by Nature Center volunteers who will also be on-hand to provide assembly instruction and assistance. This program is suitable for individuals and families. Pre-registration and payment is requried. Space is limited. Limit of 2 kits per family.
Fee: &8/kit for Nature Center or JWP Audubon Members; $10/kit for non-members
Registration deadline: April 15

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturdays, January 7 & February 4; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
(There will be no March Family Nature Exploration Day due to our Maple Sirup Experience Tours. 
Bring your 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.

ABC Runners: Winter Wonderland Run

Sunday, January 15, 9:00 a.m. (Doors open at 8:30)
Come out to enjoy a winter wonderland by running, walking, snow-shoeing, or cross-country skiing in this event coordinated by the ABC Runners (Adventures Benefitting Children). Beverages and snacks will be provided. Bring something to share if you wish. Set out on a 7 mile loop course on roads or a 5 mile trail run. Runners of various paces attend and distances can be modified.  This event is free, with the opportunity for a free-will donation to Sugar Grove Nature Center’s children’s environmental education programs.
There is no fee, but donations in any amount are encouraged. Funds collected will benefit Sugar Grove Nature Center. No registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session and Blacksmith Demonstration

Saturdays, January 21, February 18,  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.  The public is also invited to watch members of the Illinois Valley Blacksmiths Association as they work at the Forge across from the Nature Center parking lot.    
Free.  No registration required

Tuesday Night Trail Runs

Every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. from March 14th through October 24th, 2017
Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove invites you to venture out to enjoy the trails or roads on Tuesday evenings.  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.  Don’t miss the post run party in the corn crib!  Refuel and refresh while socializing with others.  Snacks and water are provided, and you are encouraged to bring other beverages.  Make it an adventure to look forward to each week! 
Fee: Free, donations appreciated. No registration required.

Campfire & S’mores Program: In Search of the Timberdoodle

Saturday, March 18, 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!  If you like, bring a lawn chair or blanket for woodcock watching.
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.  Registration and payment required by March 15.

Tom Ulrich, Nature Photography at Illinois Wesleyan University
Canceled due to presenter illness
Wednesday, March 29; 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 at 201 Beecher. 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.  This year’s presentation, “Anomalies & Curiosities” will feature some of the most rare, strange, unique, and wild photographs taken over the past 40 years.   From a moth that looks like a chipmunk to species that he was the first-ever to photograph, you will be amazed and impressed!  See astonishing documentation of animal behavior, the rarest birds, and many more photos of nature from around the world and right here in our diverse United States.  His narration includes insight on photo technique and stories behind the magical moments when he captured the perfect shot.  Tom’s work has 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!
Fee: Members $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.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Sessions: Orion & Company
Saturday, March 25; 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Don’t miss the first Viewing Session of 2017!  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.

Maple Sirup Experience Tours
Saturday, March 4th, 2017
2-1/2 Hour tours begin at 9:30 a.m., 12:00, & 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: Members $5/adults, $3/children (16 & under), Non-members $7/adults, $5/children. 
Registration and payment required by February 10, 2017. 

To register online, please click HERE