Forest Preserve program lineup features hikes, crafts, volunteer opportunities
ake a break this holiday season to give back to the community by signing up for a Volunteer Morning with the Forest Preserve District of Will County. Upcoming sessions will take place on Dec. 15 at Monee Reservoir in Monee Township and Dec. 18 at Whalon Lake in Naperville. (Forest Preserve photo | Chad Merda)

Sign up for a Volunteer Morning, make a holiday craft or take a hike with the Forest Preserve District of Will County. Online program registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the lineup:

Volunteer Mornings: 8 a.m.-noon, Thursday, Dec. 15, Monee Reservoir, Monee Township; and Sunday, Dec. 18, Whalon Lake, Naperville. Get some fresh air and exercise while helping to make a difference in your community by attending one or more of the Forest Preserve’s volunteer mornings. Activities will include brush control. Space is limited, and registration is required. To get started, complete a waiver online at ReconnectWithNature.org. For information, contact Emily Kenny at 815-722-7364 or [email protected].

Upcycled Holiday Crafts: 10:30-noon, Saturday, Dec. 17, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Paper, magazines, fabric and other materials destined for the landfill will be crafted into a variety of holiday decorations. Make gifts for yourself or others while giving Mother Earth the gift of a greener, more sustainable planet. Materials will be provided. No previous crafting skills are required, though finger dexterity may be helpful. Sharp scissors and hot glue may be used. Ages 7 or older; $5 per person. Register by Dec. 15.

Soup-er Chili – Hike to Whalon Lake: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook. Put on your hiking boots, bring your favorite mug and a can of soup (non-cream only) or chili. There will be two pots on the fire — one for chili and the other for soup — and you can add your contribution. The pots will simmer over an open flame while participants hike to Whalon Lake. Once back, enjoy a piping hot mug of food warmed over the open fire. Register by Dec. 16. Free, ages 10 or older.

Wander and Wonder Hike: 10-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. This program is for those who hike for discovery over destination. This slow, meandering hike will provide plenty of opportunities to stop and take it all in. Bring along binoculars, magnifiers and your favorite nature guides if desired. Free, ages 10 or older.

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