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
 


Family Nature Exploration Day

Saturday, Nov. 1

10:00 am- 3:00 pm

Click here or more information

 
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FAQ's

How is Sugar Grove Nature Center funded? 
The Nature Center is owned and maintained by the Sugar Grove Foundation and governed by a Board of Directors.  As a non-profit organization, Sugar Grove Foundation receives no direct tax support.  Grants, donations, memberships, and program fees provide operating funds.

Who started Sugar Grove Nature Center?
The Funks Grove Cemetery Association (FGCA) purchased the land where the Nature Center now sits in 1992 and established the Sugar Grove Foundation in 1995 with the intent of creating a nature center.

How long has Sugar Grove Nature Center been here?
The Nature Center officially opened on October 16, 2004.

How many acres are in Funks Grove?
This is a complicated answer.  The original size of the Grove is estimated around 3,000 acres, with approximately 1,200 still intact.  This makes Funks Grove the largest remaining intact prairie grove in the state of Illinois. 

Can I bring a large group to the Nature Center?
Groups of 10 or more are required to contact the Nature Center before visiting to ensure the best possible visit. Please revew our Group Visit Information Sheet for more information.

Can I reserve an area at the Nature Center for a private event?
Several areas are available for private use for a fee. Events such as reunions, socials, workshops, meetings, retreats, and campfires are regularly hosted at the Nature Center. We do not host weddings. The Funks Grove Church and Chapel of the Templed Trees hosts weddings year round.  Call the Nature Center for additional information.

Can commericial photographers take photographs on the Nature Center grounds?
Commercial photographers (including photographers of wedding parties from Funks Grove Church and Chapel of the Temple Trees) must obtain a photography permit and pay applicable fees. Hobby photography of the grounds (landscape, plants, animals) does not require a permit.

What is the metal building located on the lawn?
This structure houses the Heartland Community College telescope stand.

Why do some trees in the forests have a ring cut around them?
This is called girdling and is a forest management practice.  The trees that have been girdled are usually either exotic species or invasive native species (such as sugar maple) that out-compete other species and decrease diversity in the forest.  Rather than cutting and removing the trees, a ring is cut which will kill the tree.  It is then left to serve as wildlife habitat.  A dead standing tree is called a snag.

Do we accept rescued or orphaned wildlife at the Nature Center?
We do not accept orphaned/rescued wildlife and animals cannot be released in Funks Grove.  Only a licensed wildlife rehabilitator can legally accept/rehabilitate wildlife. 

Does the Nature Center host weddings?
No.  The Nature Center concentrates on mission driven activities and events.  The Funks Grove Church and Chapel of the Templed Trees hosts weddings year round. 

Are there any restaurants nearby?
Unfortunately there are very few restaurants near Funks Grove.  A McDonalds, Subway, and Dixie Truck Stop are located in McLean which is ~4.5 miles south of Funks Grove on Old Route 66.

How old is Daisy?
Daisy, a feral kitten, came to the Nature Center during the summer of 2004.  Her estimated birth date is February 14, 2004.