Spring is sprouting, so take advantage of in-person and online programs offered by the Forest Preserve District of Will County to learn about native plants, wildflowers and wildlife. You can also take a hike with your hound or get a dose of 18th-century history during a visit to Traders Cabin. Program registration is available via the District’s online Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Zoom links will be sent upon registration. Face masks are required for in-person programs. Here is the lineup:
Planting Natives in the Spring (Zoom Webinar): 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, online. Free, all ages. Contact phone, 815.722.9470.
Learn which native plants are best to plant in the spring for a summer of color. Discover why natives are a better fit for your yard and how to incorporate them within your budget. Gain confidence dealing with germination and the different soil and sunlight requirements that make every yard unique. This is the year to get your native garden growing! Registration is required.
Follow the Flowers with Phenology (Zoom Webinar): 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, online. Free, ages 10 or older. Contact phone, 708.946.2216.
The forest floor wakes up in spring to transform into blankets of greens, blues, yellows, reds and more. The tricky thing is that most of the blooms only last a small window of time. Learn how to track these flowers with phenology so you know what species to expect and when. Then learn about a few favorite preserves that should be added to your must-hike list. Registration is required.
Hiking With Your Hound – Signs of Spring: 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 17, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Free, all ages. Contact phone, 815.722.9470.
Hike with a naturalist and your pup to enjoy the signs of spring! Meet new friends and other dog owners and explore the landscape. Participants will look, listen and identify signs of spring. All dogs must be on a leash no longer than 10 feet. All owners are responsible for picking up after their pets. One dog per person, please. Registration is required by Friday, April 16.
Wildflower Search and Study: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 17, Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve, Monee Township. Free, all ages. Contact phone, 708.946.2216.
Come out and hike the preserve in search of spring wildflowers. A naturalist will be at the trailhead to get you started. Maps, flower guides, hand lenses and information on what you are likely to find will be provided. Challenge yourself to find and identify the various flowers in this beautiful woodland known for its spring wildflower display. Spring rains can make the trail a bit muddy; please dress with that in mind. Registration is not required.
Traders Cabin Open House: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 17, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Free, all ages. Contact phone, 815.886.1467.
Step inside the Forest Preserve District’s18th-century Fur Traders Cabin that complements the exhibits at Isle a la Cache Museum. See the many goods that French fur traders brought from New France. Learn about the furs and other items used as money during trades. A naturalist will be available to answer questions during this drop-in program. Registration is not required.
Living with Wildlife (Zoom Webinar): 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, online. Free, ages 16 or older. Contact phone, 815.886.1467.
Many species of wildlife are welcome visitors to our yards and help us maintain our connection with nature. However, some animals may wear out their welcome, ending up in places that are not safe for them or for people and pets with whom they come into contact. Fortunately, taking a few simple steps can help prevent many of the most common wildlife-related problems around your home. A number of proven methods can be used to solve the problems when they cannot be prevented. In this program, learn how to coexist with wildlife. Registration is required.
Will County Forest Preserve Press Release