May Programs at Thorn Creek Nature Center

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—April 16, 2013. The spring beauties are in bloom, the wild onions are poking through the sodden ground and the birds are singing as loudly as they can.   Nestled at the beginning of a three and half mile trail system that meanders through Thon Creek Nature Preserve, the nature center resides in a small white wooden church building built in the mid-1860’s and houses several displays for both adults and children.    Stop in and learn about mammals, Illinois fossils, insects, birds and much more!   At nearly 1000 acres, Thorn Creek Nature Preserve is home to majestic oaks, hickory trees, white-tailed deer, owls, woodpeckers and much more.   Trails can be quite muddy this time of year and the woods are still cool, so be sure to dress for the weather and wear boots.  The nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and trails are open daily, dawn to dusk.   Stop out and visit us at 247 Monee Road, Park Forest. 

Ride your motorcycle or bicycle, or even walk or drive, to Thorn Creek Nature Center on Saturday, May 11 from noon to 4 p.m. for Bike and Hike: A Benefit for Thorn Creek Woods.  Tour the Nature Center, savor homemade soups, and enjoy a two mile naturalist led hike.  The suggested donation is $20 and registration is required by Thursday, May 9.

This benefit event is in memory of the late Joe Hanes. Joe and his wife Alice were early supporters of Thorn Creek Woods and longtime members of the BMW Club. Friends and family donated $1500 in honor of Joe to the Thorn Creek Capital Fund, money that was used to build the new hiking bridge in the preserve.  Bike and Hike is cosponsored by Friends of Thorn Creek Woods, Chicago Region BMW Motorcycle Owners Association, Park Forest Environment Commission and Garden Club of Park Forest.

Join our naturalist for a Thorn Creek Morning Bird Hike, Saturday, May 18 from 8 to 10 a.m.  May is the peak of the spring migration, with gnatcatchers, kinglets, thrushes, and warblers in great abundance. As the season progresses, Thorn Creek Woods Preserve is bustling with a flurry of activity as local birds build nests and raise their young. Phoebes, bluebirds, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds are a few of our summer residents that you might be lucky to see. Even on the rainy, colder days, birds are active, so come dressed for the weather because we will be birding rain or shine! A bird guide and binoculars are recommended. The program will include hiking preserve trails over uneven terrain.  The Morning Bird Hike is for those 10 and older and is free.  Registration is required by Thursday, May 16; please call 708-946-2216.

Calling all young people age 9 to 12!   Thorn Creek’s Junior Ecologists Club offers fun-filled nature activities each month for young people.  JEC will meet Saturday, May 18 from noon to 3 p.m. to explore the birds of Thorn Creek Woods.   Registration is required by Thursday, April 16.

Wednesday Morning Walkers enjoy an early morning walk each week.  Meander through Thorn Creek Woods and watch spring and summer arrive!    Wednesday Morning Walkers meet every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and is for adults only.  No registration is required.

For more information, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, at 708-747-6320 or  [email protected].