November 2014 Happenings at Thorn Creek Nature Center

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—October 28, 2014. Thorn Creek Nature Center is nestled at the beginning of a three and half mile trail system that meanders through Thorn Creek Nature Preserve.   Housed in a small white wooden church building built in the mid-1860’s, the nature center houses several displays for both adults and children.   Stop in and learn about mammals, Illinois fossils, insects, birds and much more!   Talk with a naturalist and learn about the history of the building and how it became a nature center. At nearly 1000 acres, Thorn Creek Nature Preserve is home to majestic oaks, hickory trees, white-tailed deer, owls, woodpeckers and much more.   Be sure to dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes on your walk.   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!                         

Join other nature lovers for An Afternoon with Friends of Thorn Creek Woods, Sunday, November 2 at 1 p.m. Gather for a fun-filled afternoon with a potluck meeting and a presentation “History of the Preservation of Thorn Creek Woods”. We’ll find out what’s going on in the preserve and learn about ways to help. New supporters, find out what makes Thorn Creek unique! BYOW = Bring Your Own Whatever and we’ll provide fried chicken. The event is open to the public.

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Friends’ volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways-staff the nature center on weekends, trail work, displays, leading hikes, special events, cleaning, pruning, artwork, music, research, and on and on.   Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment, supplies and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day. Members receive a quarterly newsletter. Annual membership in Friends is $10.

Thorn Creek’s Junior Ecologists Club offering monthly fun-filled nature activities for young people age 9 to 12 has its next meeting Saturday, November 11 from noon to 3 p.m.   They will explore the different trees and their habitats in Thorn Creek Woods.

Young people should be prepared to get muddy, dress for the weather, wear boots and long pants, and bring a water bottle and insect repellent. Junior Ecologists Club is a free program and registration is required by Thursday, October 30.

Join us for a nocturnal exploration of the woods on Pie in the Sky Night Hike on Saturday, November 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. On a meandering hike through Thorn Creek Woods we’ll unravel some mysteries of life in the cold. Then we’ll return to the Nature Center for a slice of homemade pie. Rain or snow or moon shine. Be sure to dress for the weather. The hike is free and for adults and children over 10 years old. Registration required by Thursday, November 6; call the nature center 708-747-6320.

The Story of the Landscape Hike is for all ages Saturday, November 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. In 1957 May Theilgaard Watts, naturalist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois wrote the enchanting book Reading the Landscape. She wrote “there is good reading on the land…The records are written in the forests, in fencerows, in gardens, in tree rings.” Join us on this fall hike to read the landscape of Thorn Creek Woods. This program is free and registration is required. For more information or to register for this program, please call Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest at 708-747-6320.         

Walk the autumn forest trails with Wednesday Morning Walkers, a free program, Wednesdays at 9 a.m. With nearly 1000 acres, Thorn Creek Nature Preserve is home to majestic oaks, hickory trees, white-tailed deer, owls, woodpeckers and much more. Age 13 through adult are invited. Registration is required two days before you walk the first time.

Thorn Creek Nature Center is hosting its annual holiday food drive for the Rich Township Food Pantry.   Beginning now, donation items can be dropped off at the nature center during open hours, Friday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m.   Acceptable items are: non-perishable food items (including boxed, canned and dry foods) especially cereals and peanut butter; personal care items for men and women, especially toothpaste, deodorants and razors; ziplock quart and gallon size bags; baby formula; and disposable diapers (adult and infant).   Items will be accepted through Saturday, December 13.  

“Woodland Carols” on Saturday, December 13 from noon to 2 p.m. at Thorn Creek Nature Center marks the end of the food drive. Savor homemade soups while listening to a variety of holiday and seasonal music and carols sung by popular area performers.   Cost for program is $10 per person, or one bag of groceries per person.   Please call Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest at 708-747-6320, or email [email protected] to register for Woodland Carols or for information on the food drive.     Help a local family enjoy the December holidays by making a food donation today!

For more information or to register for programs, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd, Park Forest, 708-747-6320, email [email protected], orstop in the nature center between noon and 4 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. Three and a half miles of Thorn Creek trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. Trail walkers should be aware that our south bridge across Thorn Creek was badly damaged by spring storms last year and was removed. The new north bridge across Thorn Creek is open and all the trails are open. Walkers should plan their hikes to allow for coming back around the trails to cross at the north bridge only. There are signs and maps at the trail head kiosk, in the nature center and on the trails.

Source: Thorn Creek Nature Center