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
 


Nature Fun Club
(Ages 6-8)
&
Adventurer's Club
(Ages 9-12)

Registration deadline June 3

Click here for more infromation

 
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Upcoming Programs for All Ages

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 sending in a registration form, calling 309.874.2174 or emailing register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Star Death - Supernovas
Saturday, July 26; 8:45-10:45 p.m.
Stars are born, live out their lives, and then die. The largest, most massive stars explode violently to become neutron stars or black holes. Tonight we examine their remnants.  A 20-30 minute presentation on the featured topic will be followed by a sky tour using a laser pointer, and telescope observing. Programs will be held even in the event of an overcast sky. The presentation will be given and tours of the Sugar Grove Observatory will be available.  Active rain, however, will cause a cancellation of the event. Phone Carl at 309.830.4085 or Lee at 309.824.2804 to confirm if you are unsure. For additional information, visit www.tcaa.us.
Free; no registration required.

Family Nature Exploration Day
Saturday, August 2; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 6; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Bring the family out for a day of fun at the Nature Center!  A guided hike will take place at 11:00 a.m., stop inside to create a make-and-take craft at any time, and don’t miss the feeding of the turtles and snakes at 1:00 p.m.!
Free; no registration required.

Imagination Grove Fun Day
Wednesday, August 6; anytime between 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
While Imagination Grove, our nature play area, is open daily, we have designated this special day for you to meet other like-minded families that enjoy and appreciate nature-based play. Bring a nature item from home to trade at the Nature Trading Post: shells, nuts, rocks, or anything else you would like to trade. We will supply lemonade and snacks, you bring energy and imagination!
Free, although a donation from our website wish list would be appreciated. No registration required.

National S’mores Day
Sunday, August 10; anytime between 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Celebrate National S’mores Day by stopping out for a gooey treat by the campfire ring!
Free, donations appreciated; no registration required.

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturday, August 16; 10:00 a.m.-noon
The public is invited to observe members of the Illinois Valley Blacksmith’s Association as they work at the forge across the parking lot from the Nature Center.
Free; no registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturday, August 16; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Acoustic musicians of all levels are invited to join an Irish-music jam session at the Nature Center. For more details, contact Martha Tyner at mtyner@iwu.edu.
Free; no registration required.

Hummingbird Festival & Pollination Celebration
Saturday, August 30; 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Free admission.
Plan to attend our 8th Annual Hummingbird Festival & Pollination Celebration!  Celebrate hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies – the vital pollinators for countless varieties of plant life in Funks Grove.  Enjoy entertainment, education, food, and fun at this FREE event!

What is pollination and why are pollinators important?  Join us to find out!  All ages are encouraged to learn about pollination and pollinator migration from experts during seminars, classroom programs, guided hikes, and garden tours.  Children will especially enjoy watching puppet shows, making crafts, and overcoming obstacles in a life-sized game of migration.

We are excited to welcome back Vern Kleen of Springfield, Illinois, to the Festival again this year.  Vern is one of the few licensed hummingbird banders in the United States.  During the day he will demonstrate trapping, banding, and releasing hummingbirds.  Celebration participants will have the chance to “adopt” a bird to receive updates if it is recaptured.

Attend hummingbird seminars led by Deanna Frautschi and Jeanine Morse to learn more about attracting these winged wonders to your yard and garden.  Browse an assortment of products from Wild Birds Unlimited of Normal, tour our Monarch Waystation, visit with Wild Ones members to learn about native landscaping, explore our honey bee hives and sample some Sugar Grove honey!

New this year…meet Kirby and Cindy Pringle, creators of “Plight of the Monarch,” a 22 minute documentary that looks at the causes behind the rapidly declining population of the monarch, the lifecycle of the butterfly and what people can do to help increase the number of monarchs.  Multiple showings of the film will take place throughout the festival.

Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sugargrovenaturecenter.org to find a complete listing of events, updated information, and previews of the days’ activities as the festival approaches.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
Saturday, August 30; 8:00-10:00 p.m.
Just how big is the universe? While we might not be able to find an edge to our universe, we can find all sorts of amazing and unusual things as we travel outward from Earth.  For program and cancellation information, please see July 26 program.
Free; no registration required.

Campfire & S’mores Program: Roly Polies!
Friday, September 19; 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Learn all about roly polies in this fun, hands-on program. After creating a cool roly poly craft, participants will head out to the campfire ring for s’mores!
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members; registration required.

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturday, September 20; 10:00 a.m.-noon
The public is invited to observe members of the Illinois Valley Blacksmith’s Association as they work at the forge across the parking lot from the Nature Center.
Free; no registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturday, September 20; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Acoustic musicians of all levels are invited to join an Irish-music jam session at the Nature Center. For more details, contact Martha Tyner at mtyner@iwu.edu.
Free; no registration required.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Session: Globular Clusters
Saturday, September 27; 7:15-9:15 p.m.
Free; no registration required.
These are the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way, and only about 140 are known. They pre-date the appearance of the rest of our home galaxy and are an amazing sight even in small telescopes. For program and cancellation information, please see July 26 program.
Free; no registration required.