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

Exploring Nature in Illinois

Program and Book Signing

Tuesday, Sept. 30

6:00 pm

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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. Click HERE for a program registration form.  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. Please register for classes by calling 309.874.2174 or emailing register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org.

Stewardship Work Days
Saturdays, August 16 & 30; 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Saturdays, September 13 & 27, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Note time change.
Don Schmidt leads a group of volunteers in a variety of stewardship activities every other Saturday. 
Free; no registration required for individuals. 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.

Happy Trails Hikes
Thursdays, August 7 & September 11; 10:00 a.m.
This adults-only hike will go on and off trail, in search of any and all things of interest. Show up with a good pair of hiking shoes and a sense of adventure!
Free; no registration required.

Willow Trellis Workshop
Tuesday, September 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Ages: 16+
Create a garden trellis of willow – a natural place to grow vining plants and add visual interest to your gardens. An easy to make, simple trellis – we’ll begin with willow gathered from our creek. Willow has pliable branches which we will bend and weave into wattles, fence panels or trellises. Join Nature Center Volunteer and Master Gardener, Connie Carstens, for this great workshop and a chance to bring a little bit of Sugar Grove home to your garden!
Fee: $15/members; $20 non-members; registration required

Beginning Blacksmith Class
Saturday, September 13; 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Intermediate Blacksmith Class
Saturday, October 11; 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 Beginning Blacksmith Class, 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. Ready to learn more? The Intermediate Blacksmith Class is for those who have attended a beginning class or have previous experience and will include further forging techniques and welding. Participants should wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants made of cotton or wool; no shorts or open-toed shoes. 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. For more information about the class, contact Bill Kauffman at 309.208.2505.

The Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association’s mission is to help people realize their dreams and aspirations of constructive and creative metalworking through participation in their many blacksmith demonstrations, education, and training programs, and by capitalizing on and sharing in the vast experiences of their membership and by utilizing their library and video resources for blacksmiths.

Fee for each class: $50/members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association, $60/non-members; lunch, tools, and materials included. Registration and prepayment required by September 5 (beginning class) or October 3 (intermediate class). Form available at
www.sugargrovenaturecenter.org/registernow.pdf. Anyone 16 and older is welcome to register.

Program and Book Signing: Exploring Nature in Illinois; A Field Guide to the Prairie State by Michael Jeffords and Sue Post
Tuesday, September 30; 6:00 p.m.
From Apple River Canyon to War Bluff Valley Sanctuary, Exploring Nature in Illinois will take readers on an arm-chair journey to 49 of the state’s most hidden natural resource treasures. A wealth of photographs and information provide natural and cultural interpretation that will motivate any reader to get out and explore these places. Casual hikers, cyclers, students, scouts and weekend drivers will find themselves challenged to look around with new eyes to the prairies, lakesides, river bottoms and woodlands, right here in Illinois. Books will be available for purchase. After the program, stick around for ice cream and conversation. Donations appreciated.
Free; registration required.