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


Hummingbird Festival
Pollination Celebration

Saturday, Aug. 29 2015

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Upcoming Programs for Adults (16+)

Your interest may be the deciding factor to run a program!  Most programs require advanced registration.   Please try to register at least 7 days in advance.  Waiting until the last minute may result in a program being canceled due to low enrollment or missing out because it is full. Unless specified otherwise, please register for classes by calling 309.874.2174 or emailing register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org.

Stewardship Work Days
Saturdays, August 1, 15 & 29; 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Saturdays, September 12 & 26; 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Don Schmidt leads volunteers in a variety of stewardship activities every other Saturday.  Groups interested in helping must contact the Nature Center at least one week prior to the workday to determine whether the planned activity is suitable.
Free; no registration required for individuals.

Monarchs & Margaritas
Wednesday, Sept. 9; 6:30-8:00 pm
 In September, Monarch butterflies are beginning their southward migration to Mexico.  In this program, learn about their fascinating life-history while sipping on a margarita!  Hopefully, we will also be able to directly observe the Monarchs different life stages and tag some adults too.  You must be 21 or older to attend this program.
Fee: $10/members, $12/non-members. Registration and prepayment required. 
Registration details can be found here.  Registration deadline: September 4.

Beginning Blacksmith Class
Saturday, September 19; 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
If you have ever thought about trying your hand at pounding, bending, and twisting metal, this one-of-a-kind program is for you! In this hands-on program, you will work side-by-side with a blacksmith who will give you guidance and encouragement every step of the way. By the end of the day, you will have one or two small completed projects to take home.

Anyone 16 and older is welcome to register. Spots are limited. In order to ensure a quality program and plenty of personal attention, there will be a maximum of 8 participants per class. For additional information about the class, contact Bill Kauffman at 309.208.2505.

Participants are asked to wear a longsleeved shirt and long pants made of cotton or wool; no shorts or open-toed shoes, please. NO clothing or shoes with nylon or other flammable materials, such as some athletic shoes.  Safety glasses must be worn and will be provided if needed.

Fee: $50/members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association, $60/non-members.  Registration and prepayment required.
Registration details can be found hereRegistration deadline: September 12.

Universe Sampler, Astronomy Program
Saturdays, September 26, October 3 & 10; 7:00-9:00 p.m.  This program is a series.
Former ISU Planetarium Educator Carl Wenning is offering this introduction to observational astronomy for the general public, as well as new and less experienced TCAA members.  It is designed to expose the beginner to a sampling of the many types of objects that the universe has to offer, help new observers learn their way around the sky, and teach some of the basics of astronomy.  It also offers an alternate naked-eye option for those who are interested in astronomy but shy away because they do not have a telescope or binoculars.  You will meet many of the brightest stars and learn their names and the constellations in which they are found.  You will visit our moon and some of the planets that share our solar system.  You will greet at least one of the comets that leave the outer reaches of the solar system to visit the neighborhood of the sun. You will become acquainted with double stars, variable stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.  Once you have completed the Universe Sampler observing program, you should be well acquainted with the night sky and be able to find your way among the stars with no problem!

Upon completion, you will receive a certificate through either the Astronomical League (if you are a member) or the Twin City Amateur Astronomers (non-members). 

Fee: $15/family.  Fee includes one Observing Manual. Additional manuals are available for $10 each.  Preregistration is required through Carl Wenning by August 31.  Please visit https://goo.gl/1TmZFF for the mail-in form.  Questions can be directed to Carl after August 1 by calling (309) 830-4085.
Registration deadline: August 31.