Four Rivers doubles the fun Sept. 24 with Pelican Watch and exhibit grand opening

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon will host one of the biggest days in its history from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, as it celebrates its annual “Pelican Watch” while also christening a brand-new interactive exhibit gallery.

American white pelicans flock to the wide waters around Four Rivers in spring and fall during migration because the site is located near where the DuPage, Des Plaines and Kankakee rivers join to form the Illinois River. “Pelican Watch” will present guided hikes, family activities and more. A live pelican presentation will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The pelicans’ fascinating anatomy, including their pouches, and information on how they forage as a group, will be highlighted during this Forest Preserve District of Will County event. “Pelican Watch” is designed to spark interest in the birds and correct the mistaken belief that these large, charismatic birds with 9-foot wingspans can only be found by oceans. 

Also as part of “Pelican Watch,” Lil’ Deb’s Mobile Eats will be selling delicious food from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pelican Watch attendees will have the added bonus of being able to explore the many changes inside Four Rivers, including a 2,000-gallon fish tank filled with river fish, a mussel exhibit, a stream table, a watershed sand box, a fully stocked gift shop, an over-sized exterior bird feeder/bath and more.

Prior to January 2020, the building wasn’t open to the public other than for programs and rentals and there were no interior exhibits. Now the building is open for visitors and the interior exhibits enhance the beauty and recreational opportunities of the McKinley Woods preserve where Four Rivers is located.

“It’s a very special spot,” said Lynn Kurczewski, the Forest Preserve’s director of visitor services. “This site has it all, it really does.”

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