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Explore nature with the Forest Preserve District of Will County

Learn about beavers and how they make their lodges out of sticks and mud, and then hike Isle a la Cache preserve in Romeoville looking for signs of beaver activity during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s “Lodge Living – Busy Beavers” program on May 30. (Photo by Forest Preserve staff | Cindy Cain)

As May turns into June, the Forest Preserve District of Will County offers programs that focus on bats, birds and beavers; the history of Isle a la Cache; and commemorating someone important in your life on Memorial Day weekend. Also on tap is a Zoom webinar that will help you ID poison ivy. Program registration is available on the Forest Preserve’s Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the program lineup:

Bats Are Back (Zoom Webinar): 7 p.m. Thursday, May 27, online. Free, ages 16 or older.
Find out which eight bat species live in Will County and where they have been for the past few months. These amazing flying mammals have a story to tell about how they have adapted to a rapidly changing landscape. Register online for the Zoom link.

Lure in the Memories Memorial Day Weekend: 6 a.m. 7 p.m. Friday, May 28-Sunday, May 30, Monee Reservoir, Monee Township. Free, all ages.
Celebrate someone meaningful in your life, past or present, by using blank cards and craft items to express your sentiments. It could be the person who taught you how to fish, somebody you shared your love of local history with or a hiking buddy. The items you create will be displayed around the concessions building from Memorial Day into June. Registration is not required.

River Bird Hike: 8-10 a.m. Saturday, May 29, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Free, all ages.
Learn from a naturalist and other like-minded birders as you take a 2-mile hike along the banks of the Des Plaines River. The program begins with a brief outdoor presentation about one specific bird or topic. Register by Thursday, May 27, online or call 815.722.9470.

Island History Hike: 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 29, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Free, ages 13 or older.
Explore the shores of the Des Plaines River and learn about the history of Isle a la Cache preserve from the 1750s until today. This island once housed a church, a hunting cabin, homes, taverns, an icehouse and more. Register by Thursday, May 27, online or call 815.886.1467.

Lodge Living – Busy Beavers: 10-11 a.m. Sunday, May 30, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Free, ages 13 or younger.
Beavers are awesome animal architects, and they work hard to build their lodges from sticks and mud. Learn about beavers, and then take a 1-mile hike along the Des Plaines River in search of signs of beaver activity. Register by Friday, May 28, online or call 815.886.1467.

Fishing for Trash: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 1-Sunday, June 6. Monee Reservoir, Monee Township. Free, all ages.
Visit Monee reservoir and help pick up fishing line and other debris that pose serious threats to our furry, finned and feathered friends. Stop by the concessions window to pick up a trash bag and gloves. Fill the bag with trash, and then bring it back to the concessions window to receive a token gift for your efforts. Registration is not required.

Leaves of Three (Zoom Webinar): 6-7 p.m., Wednesday, June 2, online. Free, all ages.
Learn new tricks to help distinguish between many three-leaved spring wildflowers and the infamous ivy. Register online for the Zoom link.

Birding the Preserves (Zoom Webinar): 7-8 p.m. Thursday, June 3, online. Free, all ages.
Get tips and tricks on where to look and how to identify birds you observe. A select preserve will be highlighted. Also, learn how you can contribute to citizen science by recording what you see. Register online for the Zoom link.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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