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


Saturday, October 22

10:00 am- 4:00 pm

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Upcoming Programs for Adults

Unless otherwise specified, programs require 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 Adavance Registration:
1. ONLINE by clicking the program title below
2. BY MAIL using this form 

Stewardship Work Days

Saturdays, October 8 & 22; November 5 & 19; December 3 & 17; 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Don Schmidt leads volunteers in a variety of stewardship activities every other Saturday.  Learn about Illinois’ Natural History while you contribute to the health and beauty of Funks Grove.  Groups interested in helping should contact the Nature Center at least one week prior to the workday.
Free.  No registration required for individuals.

Beginning Blacksmith Class
Saturday, October 15; 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Ages 16 and up.
Maximum of 8 participants per class
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. Participants are asked to wear a long-sleeved 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.  For more information, contact Bill Kauffman at 309.208.2505.
Fee: $50/members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association, $60/non-members; lunch, tools, and materials included.  Space is limited to 8 participants.
Registration and prepayment required one week prior to class.

A Toast to Nature: Campfire & A Cowboy!

Ages 21+
Sunday, November 13, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Cozy up around the campfire and enjoy an evening of entertainment by guitarist & singer Mike Prall!  Enjoy some “chuck wagon” chow and adult beverages while you listen to some cowboy tunes surrounded by nature!  Wear your cowboy boots and hat, and if you like, bring your favorite beverage.
Fee: $15/members; $20/non-members.  Registration and payment required by November 8.

Growing Up WILD
Wednesday, November 30th; 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m
Childhood Educators of children 3 - 7 years
Explore the Award-Winning Early Childhood Curriculum Growing Up WILD with Sugar Grove Nature Center Director, Angela Funk. This workshop will feature fun, hands-on activities and ideas for infusing nature and wildlife into your programs with 3 - 7 year olds. Growing up WILD features 27 field-tested, interactive, nature-based activities; supports developmentally appropriate practice allowing children to learn at levels that are individually socially, and culturally appropriate; and involves social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive domains to help foster learning and development in all areas. We will also explore our nationally recognized Nature Play area, and enjoy s-mores by the campfire.
Fee: $50, includes Curriculum Guide, Resources, and Snacks
Registration required by November 23.