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

Woodland Wildflower Walk

Sunday, May 3

2:00 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.

Winter Wonderland Run
Saturday, January 10, 9:00 a.m. (doors open at 8:30)
There is no fee, but donations to Sugar Grove Nature Center in any amount are encouraged. 
No registration required.
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of ABC Runs! Everyone is welcome to enjoy a winter wonderland by running, walking, or cross-country skiing in this event coordinated by the ABC Runners (Adventures Benefitting Children). The main running course is a 7 mile loop course on roads.  You can turn this into a shorter course by turning around at any point. Beverages and snacks will be provided. Bring something to share if you wish. Donations will go towards materials for new children’s benches and an observation honey beehive exhibit stand that Roger Aukerman, faithful ABC run participant and carpenter extraordinaire, is working on, as well as books for our children’s nature library.

Stewardship Work Days
Saturdays, January 17 & 31, February 14 & 28, & March 14 & 28; 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Free; no registration required for individuals.
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.

Project Learning Tree
Friday, February 6; 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Fee: $30 plus cost of guide: electronic version, $24.95 or printed version, $29.95 + shipping.
Cost includes lunch, snacks, and additional resources. Online registration required at
https://www.ezlcms.com/v5/login/1525/PLT_IL.aspx?buyCourseID=8788. Participants are required to purchase PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Activity Guide prior to attending the workshop and bring it to the training. Instructions for how to purchase the guide via an online store will follow in the workshop registration confirmation.
This hands-on training will help you use the natural world as a fun and engaging way to easily integrate STEM and life sciences into the K-12 classroom or nature program.  Facilitated by Debbie Fluegel from Trees Forever, this workshop includes science content and activities aligned to Illinois Learning Goals and Common Core State Standards to assist you in bringing environmental education into the core subjects. This training qualifies as an ISBE Contact Hour Master Naturalist Continuing Education Event and participants will also be eligible to apply for a PLT GreenWorks! grant. Be prepared to go outdoors, explore, and experience hands-on learning!

Tom Ulrich, Nature Photography at IWU
Tuesday, March 24; 7:00 p.m.
Fee: Members of Sugar Grove Nature Center and JWP Audubon-$5/adult, $2/children under 12
Non-Members-$7/adult, $3/children under 12; College & university students, free with ID.
Registration is required by calling 309.874.2174 or emailing register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org.
Location: IWU Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) Bldg., 201 E. Beecher, Bloomington, IL

This special presentation is hosted by the Illinois Wesleyan University Environmental Studies Program in Room C101 of the Center for Natural Sciences Building, 201 Beecher, just east of Main Street.  Parking is available just north of the CNS and east of the Hansen Student Center.

Each year, Tom Ulrich delights his audiences with amazing photographs and humorous narration.  He will take us on a photographic journey of the year 2014 in the life of a wildlife photographer.  This year’s focus will include a special feature on the birds of Ecuador as well as bird migration in Texas and, as always, the spectacular wildlife and landscapes of Glacier National Park in Montana.  His narration includes insight on photo technique and animal behavior and is always riddled with humor.  Mr. Ulrich is a renowned nature photographer whose work has been featured in National Geographic, National Wildlife, Time, Audubon, and many other publications.  Tom has published several books, field guides, and calendars, presents photography workshops around the country and leads tours to remote parts of the world. Originally from Illinois, he now resides outside of Glacier National Park in Montana.  Each spring he travels on a photo tour and will make this stop in Bloomington-Normal on behalf of Sugar Grove Nature Center. 

Woodcocks & Wine
Wednesday, March 25, 6:30 p.m.
Fee: $3/members, $5/non-members; registration required.  You must be 21 years old to attend.
These ground-nesting birds exhibit one of the most delightful courtship flights just before dawn and
at dusk. Learn more about this fascinating game bird that returns to fields, prairies, and pastures throughout central Illinois in mid-March, then head outside to (hopefully) spot them as they spiral toward the sky and fall to the ground. Bring your lawn chair, wine glass, and favorite wine.
We’ll also have some wines to sample from local wineries. You must be 21 to attend this program.

Tracks, Scats, and Habitats
ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshop from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Tuesday, March 31; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Fee: $10/person. Preregistration required online at https://www.enticeworkshops.com. Professional Development Hours and Continuing Education Hours are available.  Lunch and additional resources will be provided.
Often when exploring nature, instead of seeing an animal, we find what it left behind. Join us in the exploration of animal signs and how they relate to habitats. We’ll be practicing our skills on an outdoor field trip, as well. We’ll show you how to incorporate the topic into your lessons and provide resources to help you. Although targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten through six, other educators are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate.