Start your October off on the right foot by participating in the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Harvest Hustle Virtual 5K. Other programs focus on litter removal, butterflies and birds. Registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the lineup:
Meet a Beekeeper: 12:30-2:30 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 1 and Nov. 5, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Meet Mike Rusnak, a local beekeeper with 15 years of experience, to discuss the art of beekeeping. All ages.
Harvest Hustle Virtual 5K: Oct. 1-31, various preserves. Immerse yourself in the autumn season and take part in the 2023 Harvest Hustle Virtual 5K. Choose one of 11 designated Forest Preserve trails to run your own 5K race. Download a running app that will track your run, take a screenshot of your route and submit it online (the link will go live on Oct. 1). The first 100 participants will receive long-sleeved Harvest Hustle T-shirts. For a list of eligible trails, visit the website. Free, all ages.
Fishing for Trash: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays, Oct. 1-31, Hidden Lakes Trout Farm, Bolingbrook. Check in at the Tackle Box bait shop to get a bucket and grabbers to pick up trash in the preserve. Return the full bucket to earn a treat. All ages.
The Case of the Missing Acorn: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook. Stop by the nature center front desk to get a clue about the whereabouts of Squirrel’s best friend, Acorn. Follow the rest of the clues as they lead you on a nutty journey around the nature center campus. Solve the mystery and head back to the nature center for a prize. All ages.
Sensory Sunday: 11 a.m.-noon, Sunday, Oct. 1, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Guests with sensory-processing needs, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and those that would benefit from a small-group experience are invited to experience the exhibits and trails on their own terms. All ages. Register by Sept. 30.
Butterflies of the American Prairie and an Afternoon Showcasing Volunteers of Thorn Creek Woods: 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, Park Forest Village Hall. The butterflies of northeastern Illinois will be highlighted at the annual gathering featuring Doug Taron of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Also, Friends of Thorn Creek Woods will showcase its volunteers. The program is open to the public and information will be provided on those who want to learn more about becoming Thorn Creek Woods volunteers. Free, ages 12 or older. Register by Sept. 25; call 708-747-6320.
Birding in the Preserves (Zoom Webinar): 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, online. Learn birds and birding from home on a virtual hike. And then use that information to hike trails on your own and become a citizen scientist by reporting what you see. All ages. Register online for the Zoom link.