November 2015 Happenings at Thorn Creek Nature Center


Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—October 30, 2015. 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 a fall hike, a program on the Will County Geologic Mapping project and refreshments at the Friends of Thorn Creek Woods’ annual meeting Sunday, November 8 at 1 p.m.

Olivier Caron, Quaternary Geologist with the Illinois State Geological Survey will tell us about the project to produce large-scale, 3D geologic maps of glacial deposits in our area to gain a better understanding of the complex geology left behind by repeated glaciations and associated flooding events. Then join him for a hike exploring Thorn Creek Woods.

New supporters, find out what makes Thorn Creek unique! The event is open to the public.

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 7 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, November 5.

The Story of the Landscape Hike is for all ages Saturday, November 14 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 by Thursday, November 12.    

Have you ever wondered how animals spend the winter? They may not have a cozy house and can’t make hot chocolate, but several adaptations allow them to survive even our harshest Midwest winters! On the Animals in Winter Hike, Sunday, December 6 at 1 p.m. we’ll walk the trails searching for signs of animals preparing for winter. This hike is free and open adults and children age 8 and older. Registration is required by Friday, December 4.

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 12.  

“Woodland Carols” on Saturday, December 12 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 selection of cheerful holiday tunes provided by students at Homewood Suzuki Strings, seasonal favorites by beloved folk-singer Anna Stange, and eclectic and improv pieces by cellist Ingrid Krizan. The afternoon concludes with our annual sing-along! Cost for program is $10 per person, or one bag of groceries per person.   Registration is required by Thursday, December 10. 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. Visit our website at The nature center will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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.