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Spring Arrives at Thorn Creek Nature Center

Thorn Creek Nature Center
Thorn Creek Nature Center. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—April 10, 2017. 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 are 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 and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Discover the wonders of spring in a weekly morning walk. Wednesday Morning Walkers meets every Wednesday at 9 a.m. and is free for ages 13 years to adult.   Walkers new to the program must register two days before they first hike.

Earth Day at Thorn Creek Woods on Saturday, April 22, from noon to 4 p.m. this year celebrates the soil right beneath your feet. Free fun for all ages!

Did you know that soils are named and classified just like species of plants and animals?  Illinois alone has over 700 different types of soil.  Come learn how soils are formed and their important role in nature.

There will be lots of fun for everyone including refreshments, a presentation, activities, a hike and our Spring Raffle.

Build an edible Mud Pie that you build yourself.

Plant milkweed seeds to take home to grow your own butterfly attracting milkweed plants. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, the only host plant for this iconic butterfly species. Milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. The good news is that planting milkweed in your garden is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for monarchs.

Investigate the soil builders in a rotting log- creatures that are soil decomposers.

Create a soil critter mobile, get a free Pin Oak seedling to take home and take home free soil posters.

Meet the parts of soil. Come see and smell and touch the parts of soil at our Soil Table.

The program is free and open to all ages.  Registration is not required.

Join us at noon for activities. Then at 1 p.m. April Richards will show us what makes up soil and how soil is formed.

At 2 p.m. hike the trails with April to understand the story told by the soil right here in Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Become a soil scientist and examine actual soil samples to understand the story told by the layers of soil.

This event is sponsored by Friends of Thorn Creek Woods and the Jim Marzuki Fund for Public Programming.

Please watch for parking signs. Earth Day is sponsored by Friends of Thorn Creek Woods.

Workdays are a fun 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. Or come help weed and nurture our Prairie Sampler and butterfly garden.

The first Trail Workday is Sunday, April 30, noon-4 p.m. and is for ages 15-adult. Other monthly workdays are planned for Sunday, May 14; Saturday and June 24. Bring a lunch and gloves and dress for the weather.  Wear sturdy shoes or boots.  Refreshments will be provided. Outdoor work is on natural surface trails across uneven terrain.

Registration for the April Workday is required by Friday, April 28 and make sure to let us know of a group of 4 people or more. Community groups are welcome.

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

Source: www.tcwoods.org


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