May and June 2015 Programs at Thorn Creek Nature Center

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Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—May 14, 2015. Discover the naturalist in you at “Women of the Woods: A Nature Retreat” a program designed for women only and offered 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. This program will celebrate summer with hikes and nature exploration. Observe birds, identify trees, flowers, tracks and much more. Join retreat facilitator Lynda Randa, biologist, educator and nature enthusiast. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up early!   This program is held rain or shine, indoors and outdoors on natural surface trails over uneven terrain. Fee is $5 per person. Registration is required by Friday, May 29.

Get down and dirty and help volunteers and Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension Service care for our Prairie Sampler every third Monday through September. Prairie Sampler Work Day will be Mondays May 18 and June 15 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult, and registration is required two days before each program day. Bring your own gloves, hand clippers, kneelers if you like. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots. Refreshments will be provided.

Thorn Creek’s Junior Ecologists Club offers fun-filled nature activities each month for young people ages 9 to 12. They explore the woods, track seasonal changes and discover woodland plants and animals. The next monthly meeting of Junior Ecologists Club will be Saturday, June 6 from noon to 3 p.m. Young people should be prepared to get a muddy, wear boots and long pants, and bring a water bottle and insect repellent. Junior Ecologists Club is a free program and registration is required two days before each program. Call the nature center for information.

Nestled within Thorn Creek Nature Preserve is the historic Hornicek Farm where chickens roam freely and garlic grows by the thousands.   Join us for the Historic Farm Walk on Sunday, June 7 from 1-3 p.m.   This fun program is for all ages and will take you on a walk through time as you wander the gardens and collect eggs from the hens. Participants will meet at Thorn Creek Nature Center and caravan to the farm.   Registration is required by Friday, June 5, so be sure to sign up now.

As spring turns to summer come celebrate the woods with the Thorn Creek Chamber Players on Friday, June 12 at 7 p.m. Cellist Ingrid Krizan, bassist Julian Pat Romane and the Thorn Creek Chamber Players will perform in the warm wooded acoustics of our 1860’s nature center building. June’s Chamber concert will feature the string quartet “Bird Sanctuary” by Luigi Boccherini. All proceeds will directly benefit Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve and Nature Center. Seating is limited and registration is required by Wednesday, June 10. Cost is $10 per person. Program is for those older than 12 years.

Exactly who flies through or nests in these Thorn Creek Woods? Learn about the ongoing Thorn Creek Bird Survey from master birder and sometime Thorn Creek Naturalist Sue Zelek at Birds of Thorn Creek Woods, Sunday, June 14 from 1-3 p.m. Sue is conducting the Bird Survey in Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve, identifying all the different species that inhabit and migrate through the woods, and will share her observations with us. Then join a hike identifying birds using visual as well as audio cues. We will provide bird ID guides, binoculars and refreshments. Sue’s presentation is sponsored by the Jim Marzuki Memorial Fund, established by Friends of Thorn Creek Woods to enhance our public programming.

Wednesday Morning Walkers enjoy an early morning walk each week. Meander through Thorn Creek Woods and watch summer arrive!   Wednesday Morning Walkers meet every Wednesday at 9 a.m. and is for those 13 years old through adult. Registration is required two days before your first walk.

Register now for Summer Safari: Earth, Air, Water & Fire, Tuesday through Thursday, June 23-25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for children ages 7 to 10. Did you ever wonder where Percy Jackson’s Olumpian Gods really got their power? They didn’t just beg Zeus for help-they relied on the four Greek elements – Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Join us for three days of exploring the current science of theses ancient “elements” through nature study, stories, games, crafts and investigative hikes.  Snacks will be provided. Children should wear play clothes: long pants; a light, long-sleeved shirt or jacket; and sturdy shoes for exploring (not sandals).  Insect repellent and sun block are highly encouraged. Children should bring a lunch and a water bottle. Registration and payment of $35 per child is required by Monday, June 15.

For more information or to register for programs, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd, Park Forest, 708-747-6320, email [email protected], orstop in the nature center between noon and 4 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. Three and a half miles of Thorn Creek trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. Trail walkers should be aware that our south bridge across Thorn Creek was badly damaged by floods and was removed. The new north bridge across Thorn Creek is open and all the trails are open. Walkers should plan their hikes to allow for coming back around the trails to cross at the north bridge only. There are signs and maps at the trail head and in the nature center.



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