Sugar Grove Nature Center offers up spring activity schedule for guests of all ages

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[April 17, 2017]  Sugar Grove Nature Center announces upcoming program opportunities for Kids, All Ages, and Adults! Join our Nature Family for the FUN! Unless otherwise specified, programs require advanced registration and payment. To register or for more information please visit register.html.  or call 309-874-2174.


Tiny Melodies Gone Wild

Most exciting for children birth to age 4, but all ages are welcome with an adult chaperone.
Fridays, April 7, May 5, & June 2; 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Tiny Melodies: Gone Wild, is an interactive Family Music Making Experience! Children AND their caregivers will join Meryl Brown, Board Certified Music Therapist, in a variety of music-making opportunities including, but not limited to, instrument play, singing, movement and storytelling.

Fee applies with discounts for members
Registration and payment required one week prior to the program.

Homeschool: Four Weeks on the Forest Floor

Ages 9-16

Tuesdays, April 18-May 9
(4 sessions); 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Students will study the progression of wildflowers over a 4 week period by surveying, drawing, and writing about them. We will incorporate aspects of nature journaling, biology, math, and art in this exciting, innovative class.

Fee applies with discounts for members
Registration and prepayment required by April 11.

Little Wonders

Ages 3-5 (with an adult chaperone)
Wednesdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. or 1:00-2:30 p.m.

April 19: Forest Flowers

May 17: Fabulous Fungi

June 21: Rowdy Raccoons

Discover the wonders of nature in these hands-on, interactive classes. A snack will accompany story time and a fun craft will be created.

Fee applies with discounts for members
Registration and payment required by the Sunday before the program.

Boy Scout Bird Study Merit Badge

Saturday, April 29; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

By participating in this program, scouts will complete all of the objectives to earn their Bird Study Merit Badge! Participants will learn the importance of bird study, how to identify birds by sight and sound, use binoculars and field guides, and how to attract birds to their yards. Dress appropriately for hiking and bring a lunch. This event is cosponsored by The John Wesley Powell Audubon Society.

Fee applies with discounts for scout leaders
Registration and pre-payment required by April 20.  No non-scouts or siblings please.
Open to troops and individual scouts.


Sundays in the Sap House!

FREE Every Sunday in April from Noon – 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy Sundays exploring the nature of Funks Grove! Start your adventure at the Sap House on the lawn near the Covered Bridge where each week a new topic will be featured. Indoor displays and activities will get you ready for your outdoor exploration. Check out binoculars and field guides or grab an exploration pack full of items to assist you on your adventure!

April 9: Letterboxing Adventure

Learn what letterboxing is and follow clues to 7 locations at Sugar Grove to learn more about the site and the plants and animals that call it home! Earn a prize for completing the challenge!

April 16: Rabbits & Ribbits

Learn about the Easter bunny’s native relative the Eastern Cottontail Rabbit---pet a pelt, learn to identify tracks and scat, and find out what you should do if you find young rabbits in your yard. Then explore the world of frogs and toads! Imitate their calls and find out where to spy them.

April 23: Garlic Mustard Smackdown

What is an exotic, invasive species and why is managing for them important? Learn all about our #1 nemesis, help us wrangle it, and taste some garlic mustard salad.

April 30: Spring Woodland Wildflowers
The only time of year you’ll see these beauties is spring and they won’t be around for long! Check out an ID card to take on your flower foray!

Garlic Mustard Smackdown

Saturday, April 22; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 23; 12:00-4:00 p.m.

The garlic mustard plant is exotic and invasive, making it an enemy of our beloved bluebells and the other beautiful spring flowers of the forest. It takes valuable resources and crowds out the native plants that wildlife relies on and are unique to our area. You can help! At the top of every hour, staff will be giving a briefing on the target, then supplying you with the necessary equipment to eradicate this nemesis (gloves and a garbage bag). Stay as long as you want. Come with friends, family, or even an organization!

Free. No registration required.

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Birdhouse Building Workshop

Saturday, April 22, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Spring is here and House Wrens will be returning to the area soon! Plan ahead and 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.

Fee applies with discounts for members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or John Wesley Powell Audubon Society.

Limit 2 kits per family.

Registration and pre-payment required by April 14.


Leave That Willow Bee: Pollinators Need Trees & Shrubs, Too!

Saturday, April 15
Friday, May 12; 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Age 21 +

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 pollinators, particularly as food sources in early spring when pollinators begin to emerge and in the winter when several kinds of pollinators seek shelter in or near woody material. Discover how these plants can be incorporated into existing or new conservation plantings. This presentation is for everyone who has an interest in providing habitat for pollinators including homeowners, farmers, acreage owners, and community members.

Fees apply with discounts for members
Registration and pre-payment required.

Woodland Wildflower Walk

Sunday, April 23; 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Enjoy a stroll through Funks Grove to discover the diversity of wildflowers that carpet the forest floor.

Free for members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or Wild Ones, Fee applies for non-members.  Registration and prepayment required.

Backyard Bird Watching Basics II: Spring Into Birds

Tuesday, May 2; 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Spring migrants are returning daily! Whether you are just begging to identify birds or need to brush up on your ID skills, here is your chance. We will review basic bird identification techniques and show you how to identify more than 25 common spring and summer birds! This program is co-sponsored by the John Wesley Powell Audubon Society.

Fee applies with discounts for members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or John Wesley Powell Audubon Society.  Registration and prepayment required by April 25.

A Toast to Nature: Bees, Mead, and Beer, Oh My!

Friday, May 19; 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Honey bees make life enjoyable in many ways! Join Central Illinois Beekeeping Association members, Tom Pankeon and Patti Koranda, to learn about the life of honeybees and how honey can be used to make mead and other beverages. Participants will sample beverages made using honey and snack on light appetizers.

Fees apply with discounts for members
You must be 21 or over to attend this program. Registration and prepayment required.

Summer Solstice Celebration in the Herb Garden

Wednesday, June 21; 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Join us in celebrating the longest day of the year! Visit our herb garden to see what is growing. Discover the holistic healing properties of essential oils and how these oils work to support a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Learn the ins and outs of using crystals to heal, strengthen, and promote healthy herbs. Create an aromatic lavender wand to take home. Taste herbal teas, refreshing mojitos, and other tonics while you enjoy an assortment of light appetizers! Learn, sample, sniff, and enjoy an enchanted summer evening in Funks Grove. Finish off the evening by tossing fresh herbs in the bonfire to insure a prosperous harvest!

Fees apply with discounts for members
Registration and prepayment required by June 14.  You must be 21 or over to attend this program.

[Rachael Kramp,Environmental Support Specialist]


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