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Forest Preserve programs feature hikes and bikes

The Centennial Trail is one of four paths that will be featured in the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s “Rec Bike Club” program from Sept. 9-Oct. 2. Sign up for one or all four of the free recreational bike rides on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithnature.org. (Photo by Forest Preserve staff |Anthony Schalk)

Upcoming Forest Preserve District of Will County programs range from yoga to nature painting. And don’t forget to order some trees and shrubs for fall through The Nature Foundation of Will County’s “Oaktober!” virtual sale. You can also take a hike with your pup, tour historic sites or join one of four recreational bike rides. Online registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the lineup:

Yoga on the Hill: 8-9 a.m. Saturdays, Sept. 4, Oct. 2 and Oct. 30, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Ages 13 or older, $18 per person.
Awaken and restore the body and mind with a gentle morning yoga class on the hilltop led by instructor Danielle O’Leary. Don’t forget your water bottle and a yoga mat or beach towel. Register online by Sept. 4 or call 708-946-2216.

Oaktober! Native Tree & Shrub Sale: Saturday, Sept. 4, through Saturday, Oct. 2, online.
The Nature Foundation of Will County, the District’s fundraising foundation, will hold its native tree and shrub sale virtually this year. For more information, including a plant list and pricing, visit the foundation’s website, willcountynature.org. Plants can be picked up from the Forest Preserve’s Sugar Creek Administration Center, 17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Longhouse Living: 10a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 4, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Free, all ages.
Tour the inside of the Forest Preserve District’s longhouse, one of several types of Potawatomi dwellings used in the 18th century and beyond. Learn about everyday life for the Potawatomi and discover how longhouses are built and used by Native peoples. This is a drop-in program; come anytime between 10 a.m. and noon.

Meet A Beekeeper: 12:30-2:30 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Free, ages 18 or older.
Meet local beekeeper Mike Rusnak at the Forest Preserve District’s Plum Creek Nature Center to discuss the art of beekeeping. Ask questions and chat with Rusnak and other beekeeping enthusiasts. Rusnak has more than 15 years of beekeeping experience to share. Pick up specific beekeeping tips or simply learn more about the world of beekeeping.

Joliet Iron Works Tour: 3-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, Joliet. Free, ages 16 or older.
Which city carried the nickname “City of Steel and Stone?” Joliet’s once-thriving industrial plant rivaled Pittsburgh’s steel power. Explore the stone foundations that are more than 100 years old. A Forest Preserve District interpretive naturalist will share the fascinating stories of the men and machines that worked at the site. Register online by Sept. 7 or call 815-886-1467.

Rec Bike Club: Join the Forest Preserve District of Will County for four free recreational and fun bike rides:

  • 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, Centennial Trail – Schneider’s Passage, Romeoville
  • 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 18, Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, Joliet
  • 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, Hadley Valley – Route 6 Access, Joliet
  • 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 2, Hickory Creek Barrens, New Lenox.

Complete all four rides to get a cooling buff/head wrap. Register online or call 815-727-8700.

Hiking with Your Hound – September Sights: 6-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Free, all ages.
In September, there are many amazing sights along the peninsula at Four Rivers as summer fades away. Bring your pup and go on an adventure with a naturalist! Hike the trails and use your observational skills to take in all that nature has to offer. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 10 feet and owners are responsible for picking up after their pets. One pet per person. Register online by Sept. 9 or call 815-722-9470.

Colors of Fall Nature Painting: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Free, ages 21 or older.
Get ready for autumn by painting with all the colors of fall! Gain inspiration by learning which trees transform into which colors, and then follow step-by-step instructions to start making a masterpiece. This program is perfect for beginners, and all equipment is included. Participants may bring their own beer, wine or non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy. Light refreshments will be available. Register online by Sept. 7 or call 708-946-2216.


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