Top 5 Things to Do in the Preserves This Week Jan. 20, 2017

1. Pitch In & Volunteer! Discover the rewards of helping nature at the Pitch In & Volunteer Open House on Saturday, Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. ‒ noon at our Danada headquarters in Wheaton. Talk with representatives from all 11 volunteer programs and enjoy a one-hour presentation highlighting more than 50 volunteer opportunities available through the District. The 10 a.m. presentation will highlight each program, and attendees can talk with current volunteers and staff members throughout the event. Registration is not required. Questions? Call 630-933-7233.

2. Celebrate the squirrel! Join in a celebration of your friendly neighborhood squirrel and learn about these acrobatic rodents at Squirrel Appreciation Day on Saturday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. ‒ 4 p.m. at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. Discover more about these critters with lots of “nutty” squirrel-related activities at this free all-ages program. Registration is not required. Questions? Call 630-942-6200.

3. Cook a meal over the campfire. Help prepare a hearty meal over an open campfire as you learn tips for cooking with cast iron at Cast-Iron Cooking on Sunday, Jan. 22 from 1 ‒ 3 p.m. at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. The program costs $10 per person for ages 13 and up; $5 for ages 7 ‒ 12. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

4. Get fit in nature. Enjoy the wonders of the preserves with a ranger and naturalist and get some healthy exercise at Forest Fitness Walk on Monday, Jan. 23 from 8:30 ‒ 10:30 a.m. at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. Did you know that connecting to nature for one hour improves memory by 20 percent? The program is for ages 18 and up and costs $4 in advance or $6 at the walk. Register online or at 630-850-8110. Join us for all the walks in the Forest Fitness Walk series

5. Focus on photo editing. Learn about Adobe Lightroom software at Photography: Lightroom I, a five-week program starting Thursday, Jan. 26 from 6:30 ‒ 9:30 p.m. at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. Lightroom allows you to enhance and organize digital photos and work with the program’s Library and Develop modules. The program costs $150 plus a $20 supply fee per person and is for ages 18 and up. Register online or at 630-206-9566. Check out this and many other photo programs offered at Mayslake

Reminder: Explore blizzards and beauty. Enjoy winter-themed works of art by talented Forest Preserve District staff and volunteers at the Blizzards and Beauty exhibit, which runs through Feb. 24 at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. The art exhibit features the work of District staff and volunteers and was featured in a review in the Chicago Tribune’s Doings Oak Brook News. It is open Monday ‒ Friday 9 a.m. ‒ 3 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. ‒ 1 p.m. Questions? Call 630-206-9566.

Nurture nature by helping at one of these upcoming Volunteer Restoration Workdays.
Help remove nonnative plants or spread seeds. For ages 8 and up; under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Register at (630) 206-9630 at least five business days prior (10 days for groups of five or more). 

Jan. 28                   Churchill Woods 
 West Chicago Prairie 
Feb. 1 Springbrook Prairie 
Feb. 4 Springbrook Prairie 
Feb. 11 Churchill Woods 

More volunteer opportunities 

Image © Fred Drury

Award-winning photographer Fred Drury teaches "Photography: Lightroom I" at Mayslake. He has been making images for more than 50 years and was the 2011 recipient of the Kohout Award. 

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