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The Forest Preserve District Of Will County Offers Plenty Of Programming

An American Woodcock

Get outside for a hike, tune in for some turtle time or check out a monthly book club offered by the Forest Preserve District of Will County. Program registration is available via the Forest Preserve’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:

Lunch ’n Learn: Women of the Fur Trade (Zoom webinar): Wednesday, March 17, noon, online. Free, ages 16 or older. 815.886.1467.
March is Women’s History Month! Let’s celebrate all the boss women of the 17th- to 19th-century fur trade — the smugglers and traders, the translators and economic powerhouses, the guides and providers who were so much more than the “nagging wife” portrayed by later historians. Registration is required.

Trader Training – Virtual Homeschool & Remote Learner Program (Zoom webinar): 10 a.m. Thursday, March 18, online. Free, students in grades 3-6. 815.886.1467.
Students will participate in an online training experience to become 18th-century fur traders. Interpretive naturalists provide the opportunity for students to meet residents of the 1750s Illinois Country. Students receive training and practice in the barter system used by the French and Native Potawatomi to exchange furs and goods. By participating in a trade, students learn about the benefits of this economic process. Registration is required by 8 a.m. Thursday, March 18.

Kids’ Bicycle Safety Day: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, March 20, Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access, Shorewood. Free, ages 12 or younger. 815.727.8700.
As the weather starts to warm and activity moves outside, bring your child out to learn the basic skills of being safe on a bicycle. Activities will include safety instruction, the ABC quick check for bicycles, and a few fun activities. Only those children participating need to be registered, but a parent must remain on site throughout the program. Registration required by Thursday, March 18.

Family Fun Hike at Whalon Lake: 1-2 p.m. Saturday, March 20, Whalon Lake, Naperville. Free, all ages. 815.886.1467.
Bring your family outside! Hike Whalon Lake preserve with a naturalist. At designated stops along the way we’ll pause to try our hand at outside fun. We might compete in Animal Olympics, play animal Simon says, discover the age of a tree, listen to bird calls or play fox and goose. This program is geared toward children 6-12 years old, but the entire family is welcome. Meet at the Lakeside Shelter. Registration is required by Thursday, March 18.

Woodcock Walk: 6:30-8 p.m. Saturday, March 20, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Free, ages 7 or older. 708.946.2216.
As the sun sets, the male woodcock makes his way to the edge of a field and prepares for his extraordinary courtship performance. Normally timid and elusive, the woodcock is readily observed during the early spring breeding season when he leaves the safety and cover of the forest to attract a mate. The first part of the evening will be spent learning interesting facts about this elusive and amazing bird. Then we’ll hike to view the courtship flights of the male. Registration is required by Friday, March 19.

Lunch ’n’ Learn: Turtle Tuesday (Zoom webinar): noon, Tuesday, March 23. Free, all ages. 815.886.1467.
Do you love turtles? Here’s your chance to see them up close during this Zoom program broadcast from Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville. Learn about the resident Blanding’s turtles on display at the museum and meet our turtles, Taco, H3 and Shirlee. Post your questions and we’ll do our best to answer them in real time. We’ll also be chiming in with all sorts of facts about this state-endangered species. Registration is required.

Spring Cleaning: DIY (Zoom webinar): 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, online. Free, all ages. 815.722.9470.
Tired of spraying harmful chemicals around your house or with the ever-growing pile of discarded plastic containers? You can make quality efficient cleaners with common household items. DIYing your cleaning products is simple and convenient. It can save you money and even benefit the planet. Join this Zoom webinar to learn some tried and true cleaning concoctions. Registration is required.

Woodcock Walk for Adults: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Free, ages 18 or older. 815.722.9470.
Demanding a romantic light, the male woodcock waits until dusk before performing its theatrical display. The woodcock’s “sky dance” is quite a sight to see! We will start the evening at McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove Shelter, learning about the American woodcock. Then, we’ll take a hike to observe the courtship flight of the male. Registration is required by Tuesday, March 23.

Leafing Through Time Book Club: 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Free, ages 21 or older. 815.886.1467.
Join us on the fourth Wednesday of the month to discuss an important work of fiction or non-fiction that helps connect us to our natural and cultural history. The winter “Leafing Through Time Book Club” series is BYOB (beer or wine only, please). The book for March is “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food” by Paul Greenberg. Registration is required by Tuesday, March 23.

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