Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—March 31, 2016. Spend some time in Thorn Creek Woods and you will notice little patches of color making its way into the brown and gray woodland. Spring beauties are poking their little white and pink heads out, the greens of the wild leeks and onions are becoming more and more visible in the floodplains and the leaf buds are looking forward to opening as warm weather becomes a reality. The woodland has also become louder as the days get longer. Chorus frogs will be singing their little hearts out, birds are voicing their opinions during territorial disputes and the sounds of hikers echo through the trees.
Bring the family out and enjoy 3 ½ miles of trails through Thorn Creek Nature Preserve and then top your day off by exploring Thorn Creek Nature Center. The nature center offers a bird viewing window, children’s science corner, exhibits for children and adults, and our Eugene Schwartz Memorial Library packed with books on local history and nature. Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk and the nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Thorn Creek Nature Center is located at 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, 708-747-6320 and [email protected]. Visit our new website at www.tcwoods.org.
Discover the wonders of spring in a weekly morning walk. Wednesday Morning Walkers meets every Wednesday 9-10:30 a.m. and is free for ages 13 years to adult. Walkers new to the program must register two days before they first hike.
Calling all young people age 9 to 12! Thorn Creek’s Junior Ecologists Club offers fun-filled nature activities each month for young people. They will explore the woods, track seasonal changes and discover woodland plants and animals. JEC will meet Saturday, May 7 from noon to 3 p.m. Registration is required by Thursday, April 10.
Trail Workdays are an excellent way to give back to Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve! Join the Thorn Creek Trail Work Crew in building and repairing boardwalks and maintaining the trails throughout the Preserve. Monthly Trail Workdays are planned for Saturday, April 9; Sunday, May 15; Saturday, June 25; Sunday, July 24; and Sunday, August 14. These workdays are 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and for ages 15-adult.
For the April Workday registration is required by Wednesday, April 6 and make sure to let us know of a group of 4 people or more. Bring a lunch and gloves and dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes or boots. Community groups are welcome!
Shed off winter and enjoy a march into the woods to look for signs of springtime on “March into Spring” hike on Sunday, April 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. for all ages. We’ll search for vernal indicators like early wildflowers re-sprouting, tree buds unfurling, returning migrant birds or animals emerging from hibernation, choruses of frogs and tender green shoots peeking through last year’s dead leaves. The trail may be muddy or icy; sturdy boots are recommended. Registration is required by Friday, April 8, and the program is free for all ages.
Earth Day at Thorn Creek Woods this year celebrates amphibians. What kinds of frogs and toads and salamanders live in Thorn Creek Woods? How can you tell the differences? Where can you find them? And what sounds do they make? Come find out Saturday, April 23 from noon to 4 p.m.
At 1 p.m. join us for a slide presentation – “Our Local Amphibians” exploring the frogs and toads and salamanders of Thorn Creek Woods. David Mauger, retired Forest Preserve District of Will County Land Management Coordinator, specialized in amphibian and reptile research and conservation and will share his insights.
At 2 p.m. join Dave Mauger and our naturalists April Richards and Ingrid Krizan for a hike. Whether frogs and toads are calling or not, this is sure to be a fun spring walk in Thorn Creek Woods.
Lots of fun for everyone including an Earth Day raffle, amphibian sounds and displays. Make a toad house or a frog rasper. Get your own Calling Frog and Toad Calendar. There will be a bake sale with plenty of things to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Mark your calendars and celebrate Earth Day at Thorn Creek Nature Center! This event is sponsored by Friends of Thorn Creek Woods and the jim Marzuki Fund for Public Programming.
For more information, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, at 708-747-6320 or [email protected]. The nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and trails are open daily, dawn to dusk. Visit our website at www.tcwoods.org.