More In-Person Programs From The Forest Preserve District In July

WILL COUNTY, IL — As the state moves to Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Forest Preserve District is offering more in-person programs for those who want to venture out, as well as additional online offerings for those who would rather enjoy entertaining and educational nature programs from the comfort of their homes.

Topics range from creatures and history to yoga and fitness. Here are the upcoming in-person and online programs:

In-person programs:

  • “Big Fish Contest,” July 1-Aug. 30 at Monee Reservoir. Bring your catch of the day to the visitor center to have it measured and photographed to be entered into the contest. Prizes valued at $100 will be awarded to biggest bass, catfish and panfish by length. One name will be drawn from all contestants for a grand prize winner. Free; ages 16 or older.

  • “Firefly Hike for Adults,” 8-10 p.m. July 7, Plum Creek Nature Center. A short introduction on firefly ecology will be followed by a nighttime woodland walk filled with different firefly species. Free; ages 18 or older. Register by July 2 at or call 708-946-2216.

  • “Yoga on the Hill,” 9-10 a.m. Saturdays July 11 and 25, Aug. 8 and 22 and Sept. 5 and 19, Plum Creek Nature Center. Take part in a gentle morning yoga class on the scenic hilltop of Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve. Bring your water bottle and a mat. Ages 13 or older; $18 per person, per class. Register at or call 708-946-2216

  • “Vitamin N Family Hike,” two 90-minute sessions, 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., July 11. Rock Run Preserve – Black Road Access. “N” is for nature, so take your family outdoors for this interactive hike inspired by author Richard Louv’s belief that nature is essential for our well-being. Free; all ages. Register by July 9 at or call 815-722-9470.

  • “Midnight Madness,” 7 p.m.-midnight July 11, Monee Reservoir. Enjoy nighttime fishing when the water is cooler and fish are more active. Bring a flashlight and bug repellent.

Online programs:
Zoom webinar registration links are available via the Forest Preserve’s Event Calendar.

  • “Camping Cuisine,” 6 p.m. July 1. Learn how to plan and prepare delicious camping meals. All ages.

  • “Monarch’s First Flight,” noon July 8. View monarch eggs, caterpillars and a chrysalis before watching an adult butterfly as its released into the wild. Learn how to “butterfly-up” your lawn and the pros and cons of rearing monarchs at home.

  • “Forest Fitness: Running the Trails at Whalon Lake,” 10 a.m. July 7. Trail running will be covered in this edition of a fitness series designed to teach registrants how to use the preserves to achieve fitness goals.

  • “Nature Play Day,” 10 a.m. July 8. Attend this virtual program with 3- to 5-year-olds for a slithering good time. Meet Penny, the ball python and learn what makes her an awesome creature.

  • “Recreation Conversations: Having a Plan,” 11 a.m. July 9. Having a plan for outdoor recreation can maximize your experience and prevent accidents. Participants can ask questions about recreation or the forest preserves in general.

  • “Joliet Iron Works Virtual Tour,” 6 p.m. July 9. Find out how Joliet earned the nickname “City of Stone and Steel” as a naturalist shares the stories of the men and women that worked at this site and photos of the stone foundations that remain at Joliet Iron Works. Ages 16 or older.

  • “Creeker Seekers: Hickory Creek Junction,” 1 p.m. July 10. Embark on a virtual exploration of Hickory Creek as a naturalist flips over rocks in search of aquatic critters, big and small. All ages.

  • “Fermentation Series: Bubbly Bread,” 6 p.m. July 11. Uncover the science and the history behind bread, which is alive with microorganisms – yeast and bacteria – through the magic of fermentation. Learn how to knead the dough and make a sourdough starter at home. Grab a fermented drink to enjoy while you log on to this unique program. Ages 21 or older.

This article originally appeared on the Romeoville Patch

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