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


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Upcoming Programs for Adults (16+)

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. 

To register or for more information please visit www.sugargrovenaturecenter.org/register.html , email register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org or call 309.874.2174

Professional Development: The Science of Interpretation for Non-Formal Educators
Thursday, April 14; 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Is your message being delivered correctly?  The average student, teacher or nature center visitor assesses their visit within the first three minutes of your presentation…did you make the grade?  Visit with us as we explore best practices in communicating your message to visitors.  Participants will learn the basics of interpretive strategies, tips to engage and dazzle your audience with professional practices and even create your own program agenda. Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove is thrilled to welcome Sarah Livesay, a remarkable leader in Environmental Education in the state of Illinois and beyond, to Bloomington to share her extensive experience and passion for interpretation and programming.
Fee: $10/members, $15/non-members. Registration and payment required by April 7.  This program will take place at the University of Illinois Extension Office, 1615 Commerce Pkwy, Bloomington, IL.

A Toast to Nature: Fungus in the Forest
Saturday, April 23; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Ages 21 and up.
Join biologist Bethany Evans-Campbell to discover more about the important roles of fungi in our ecosystems. Walk through the forest to observe various fungi while learning about these unique organisms that occur all around us.  Enjoy learning about some peculiar types of fungi in our area and where to look for them while enjoying a beverage produced with the help of a fungus (beer, wine, or kombucha).  If you have a favorite beverage bring it along, and/or sample what we have on hand.
Fee: $12/members, $17/non-members. Registration and payment required by April 20.

Bird Walk: Migration Madness
Sunday, May 15; 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Join Dave Weth for this John Wesley Powell Audubon sponsored event!  Spring migration should be at its peak with opportunities to observe warblers, vireos, flycatchers and more.  Hike through Funks Grove in search of returning summer residents and those species stopping through on their trip north.  Bring binoculars and wear your hiking boots!
Free.  No registration required.

A Toast to Nature: Summer Solstice Celebration in the Herb Garden
Monday, June 20; 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Ages 21 and up.
Join Karen Lowery, a.k.a the Herb Lady, in celebrating the longest day of the year!  Tour the herb garden as you learn about culinary, decorative, and other uses for herbs.  Sample herbal teas, refreshing mojitos, and other tonics while you enjoy an assortment of delightful appetizers created using culinary herbs!  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!
Fee: $12/members, $17/non-members.  Registration and payment required by June 13.

Nature Photography with John Tobias
Saturday, June 25; 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Ages 16 and up.
Explore the art of nature photography with photography instructor John Tobias! Learn to use the features of your camera while creating gorgeous photographs of the natural world.  Most of the time will be spent outdoors fine-tuning your skills, so dress to be outside! Bring your camera, gear, extra batteries, and a large memory card (or two).
Fee: $15/members, $20/non-members. Registration and payment required by June 17.

Beginning Blacksmith Class
Saturday, September 17; 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 additional information about the class, 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.  Registration and prepayment required by September 12