REGISTRATION: There are three ways to register for these classes, programs, and activities. Register in-person at the Nature Center during open hours, or by telephone, by calling 708-747-6320
or, via e-mail at email@example.com.
FALL WORKDAY AT THORN CREEK WOODS
Come out and have fun sprucing up the Nature Center, as well as cleanup and trail repairs. There will be indoor and outdoor work to be done. Bring a lunch and work gloves, and be sure to dress for the weather. Refreshments will be provided. Sunday, Sept. 13, noon to 4 pm Free! All ages; children 15 or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required for groups of six people or more by Friday, September 11.
KNOW YOUR OAKS HIKE
Oak trees are common in Thorn Creek Woods, but are they all the same? Learn which oaks are found in our region and how to tell them apart even when the leaves are gone. Join a naturalist for this hike to discover tips and tricks to help you identify some of the different oak tree species. Free! All ages. Saturday, Sept. 19, from 1 to 3 pm. Registration required by Thursday, Sept. 17.
PRAIRIE SAMPLER WORK DAYS AT THORN CREEK WOODS
Get down and dirty and help Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension Service care for Thorn Creek's Prairie Sampler. Located in front of the Nature Center, this small prairie that was nurtured by the late Jim Marzuki, needs your help with weeding, pulling tall goldenrod and trimming out woody plants. Bring your own gloves, hand clippers, and kneelers if you like. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots. Refreshments will be provided. Free! All ages; children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Monday, Sept. 21, 9:30 am to noon. Registration required by September 19.
THORN CREEK GARLIC FEST
Celebrate the wonders of the garlic bulb and the world of organic growing. Come taste different varieties of garlic, and gather information on garlic: its uses, planting techniques, organic gardening and garlic cooking. All garlic is organically grown on Thorn Creek's Historic Farm and many refreshments include organic garlic in them! Enjoy demonstrations on garlic preparation and try your hand at garlic braiding. Organic garlic bulbs of over 30 varieties are for sale. Enjoy a fall trail hike at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, from noon to 3 pm. Parking is located in the field across from Thorn Creek Nature Center. Bring the entire family out for a day of flavorful fun! No registration required. No early birds, please. All ages. $5 per car, $1 per bicycle.
THORN CREEK CHAMBER PLAYERS
Cellist Ingrid Krizan and the Thorn Creek Chamber Players present a concert celebrating the autumn woods. Ingrid is a classically trained professional cellist who weaves seasonal nature narratives into her music. Join us for a fun-filled evening of music echoing through the woods. Refreshments will be provided. Saturday, Oct. 10, from 7 to 9 pm. Ages 12 or older; $10 per person. Registration required by Thursday, October 8.
FALL COLORS HIKE
Walk the trails of Thorn Creek Woods amidst trees of all species transitioning from their summer green leaves to shades of red, yellow, orange, gold, russet and even purple – the colors of autumn. Discover not only why leaves change in the fall, but why different trees turn different colors. Sunday, Oct. 11, from 1 to 3 pm. Free. All ages. Registration required by Friday, October 9.
MAGICAL MOON NIGHT HIKE
Come walk the boundary between the natural and magical night time worlds of Thorn Creek Woods. The music and magic of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts will help you use your senses to unlock the woodland’s magical messages—rustlings, hootings, whispering water, scent of loamy soil and flittering shadows in the forest. Join us for a spell. Saturday, Oct. 24, from 6:30 to 8 pm. Free. Ages 16 years and younger. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required by Thursday, October 22.
Kids of all ages come express your knowledge of insects, arthropods and creepy crawlies. Local artist Patricia Moore will guide you in creating a bug “sculpture” out of twigs and other objects- feathers, tubes, cardboard and much more. Then draw your creature on paper with watercolors or markers. Photos and models of the insects of Thorn Creek Woods --- ladybugs, dragonflies, beetles, bees and more --- will be on display for aspiring artists to examine and inspire. Each participant will leave the session with an artwork suitable for framing or display. All materials will be provided and refreshments will be served. Sunday, October 25. Two sessions: from 1 to 2 pm and from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. Registration required by Friday, October 23. All ages. $5 per person per session. Children under age 6 should be accompanied by an adult.
WEDNESDAY MORNING WALKERS
Wednesdays through Dec. 16,
Follow the forest’s seasonal changes,
enjoy light exercise and experience nature first-hand on 2 miles of Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve’s winding trails.
Trails can be wet or muddy,
so please wear sturdy shoes.
Free! Ages 13–adult. Registration
required two days before
your first walk.
AUTUMN NIGHT HIKE
Come join us on the Night of the Changing Season Moon and find out how plants and animals are responding to shorter days and lower temps. You don’t want to miss the smells, sounds and sights of Thorn Creek Woods trails at night. No flashlights, please. Free. Tuesday, October 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. Adults and children over 16 years old. Registration required by Sunday, October 25.
STORY OF THE LANDSCAPE HIKE
In 1957, May Theilgaard Watts, naturalist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois wrote the enchanting book “Reading the Landscape”. She wrote “there is good reading on the land... The records are written in the forests, in fence rows, in gardens, in tree rings.” Join us on this fall hike to read the landscape of Thorn Creek Woods. Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1 to 3 pm Free. All ages. Registration required by Thursday, November 12.
ANIMALS IN WINTER
Have you ever wondered how animals spend the winter? They may not have a cozy house and can’t make hot chocolate, but several adaptations allow them to survive even our harshest Midwest winters! We’ll walk the trails searching for signs of animals preparing for winter. Sunday, December 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. Free. Ages 8 and older. Registration required by Friday, December 4.
WOODLAND CAROLS: ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE
Start your holiday season off right by giving to others at Thorn Creek Nature Center’s annual food drive and music event. Savor all-you-can-eat homemade soup while listening to seasonal musical selections by popular area performers. Bring a bag of groceries and the program fee will be waived! All donations and proceeds will be donated to the Rich Township Food Pantry. Saturday, December 12, from noon to 2 p.m. Ages 12 and older. $10 per person or 1 bag of groceries per person. Registration required by Thursday, December 10.
JUNIOR ECOLOGISTS CLUB
Noon-3 p.m. Free! Ages 9–12.
Let us know!
WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN?
Share your observations of birds—or critters or plants
Let us know what birds (and other critters and plants) that you observe in the woods this year. Tell us what you observed and where in the preserve. How? Leave a note or the blue Trail Watcher sheet in the Drop Box at the front door to nature center. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stop in the nature center Friday-Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.