Archive for the ‘Crabtree Nature Center’ Category

Party for the Preserves

Visitors of all ages can enjoy nature exploration, dancing, stewardship and more at the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Party for the Preserves events on Sept. 23.

Submitted by Forest Preserves of Cook County

The annual Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Party for the Preserves on Saturday, Sept. 23, checks a lot of boxes: it kicks off fall forest fun events that run through November, marks two historic anniversaries, and — most importantly — offers a full day of fun, from a bilingual bird walk at 8:30 a.m. to a Funkadesi concert followed by s’mores and night walks 12 hours later.

“As the seasons turn, there’s even more to see and do in the Forest Preserves, and that deserves a party,” says Forest Preserves General Superintendent Arnold Randall.

“This year we are also marking the 30th anniversary of National Public Lands Day and the 60th anniversary of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. We have a lot to celebrate.”

Six events — all free and open to the public — will be held as part of this year’s Party for the Preserves:

  • Bilingual Bird Migration Walk/Caminata Bilingüe Sobre la Migración de Aves: 8:30 a.m. at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in Lemont.
  • Bike Ride: Party for the Preserves: 10 a.m. at Beaubien Woods in Chicago.
  • Salsa Dance: 11 a.m. at Thatcher Woods Pavilion in River Forest.
  • Party for the Preserves Program: noon at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington.
  • Fourth Annual Fall Nature Fest: noon at LaBagh Woods, Foster and Cicero in Chicago.
  • Party for the Preserves: 4 p.m. at Camp Bullfrog Lake in Willow Springs. Includes paddling on the lake, food and more, to be followed by a Funkadesi concert, ending with optional night walks and s’mores.

Additional details on all six events are online at fpdcc.com/events/category/party or at each preserve’s web pages. Fall events through the end of November are available in the Fall 2023 Guide.

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After a three-year hiatus, the annual Art in Nature Festival returns to Crabtree Nature Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10.

During this free event, attendees can view artists at work reflecting on the landscapes of the nature preserve.

“We will also have a variety of activities such as painting with watercolor and sculpting with clay, which allow people to reflect the beauty of the forest preserves through art,” explains Jeff Rapp, director of Crabtree Nature Center.

There will be live music and dance programs performed by the Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago and the local duo Second Wind. Additionally, visitors can view and purchase art.

More here.

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Maple Lake

Located in the Palos Preserves, the 60-acre Maple Lake is a popular fishing spot—from a rented boat at the Maple Lake Boating Center or from more than 8,000 feet of shoreline. Photo by: Frank Grubich

In this issue:

  • Referendum Seeds Begin to Bloom
  • Seventy-Five Youth Graduate from Forest Preserve Experience Program
  • Little Bees Have a Big Impact on Ecosystems
  • Latest News: Celebrate Crabtree Nature Center’s Grand Re-Opening, Take Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Survey, Field Notes from the Forest Preserve Foundation
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Read it here.

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Crabtree Reopening

It’s finally happening folks! We cordially invite you to our Grand Opening Celebration this Sunday at 10am. Join us for our ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a guided tour of the facility and nature play fun. We hope to see you there!

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Front to back: Robert McGinley, Dan Lobbes, Renae Frigo and David Holman head back after checking the status of a former dam on Goose Lake in Horizon Farm preserve on Aug. 18, 2023, in Barrington Hills. Members of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust and The Conservation Foundation were out surveying Horizon Farm as part of an annual effort to track changes on the property. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

On a group tour of Horizon Farm Forest Preserve and its rolling pastures, a visitor joked that it would make a great par 3 golf course. Nature lovers shuddered at the thought, though such a use is prohibited on the site.

But the comment illustrates the tension the Forest Preserve District of Cook County faces balancing preservation and recreation. The district’s main mission is to preserve open space, and provide “nature-compatible” recreation.

In the case of Horizon Farm in northwest suburban Barrington Hills, the issue boils down to whether to save a half-mile horse racing track. The nearly 400-acre preserve used to be a horse breeding and training ground. The track was used to train thoroughbreds for racing at the now-closed Arlington International Racecourse.

When the forest preserve district bought Horizon Farm out of foreclosure for $14.5 million in 2013, officials expressed openness to keeping equestrian uses of the site. But 10 years later, the racetrack sits filled with wild plants, unused, its railing falling apart. A big chunk of the preserve remains closed, and some trails are overgrown. Horse lovers and other preserve users are wondering whether the district will save the track.

“It’s really a prize,” Barrington Hills Park District President Dennis Kelly said. “There’s been a lot of interest in the equestrian community, but we have not gotten a response.”

Not everyone is married to the idea of a horse track. Friends of the Forest Preserves, an independent nonprofit, takes the general position that recreation in the forest preserves — from boating to fishing to camping — should facilitate enjoyment of nature.

“As soon as recreation becomes about the activity, that is not in line with what should be done with the forest preserves,” Friends President Benjamin Cox said.

The group supports horse trails since anyone can use them, but has not taken a position specifically on the horse track. Exclusive sites such as a golf course or baseball diamond are only for those uses, so Friends would prefer not to build those in the preserves.

Read more here.

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CTFP2023Learn about and celebrate the different facets of the Forest Preserves through animal encounters, arts and crafts, and much more Sunday, June 4th from 11AM to 3PM – 3 Stover Rd, Barrington Hills.

Contact info: 847.381.6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

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Wild Geranium

Ranging in colors from light pink to lavender, wild geranium is a showy woodland spring wildflower that typically blooms in May and June. | Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum), Photo by: Fidencio Marbella

In this Issue:

  • Spring Bird Migration Means Birding Opportunities Abound in the Forest Preserves
  • Nature Express Bus Provides Free Rides to Nature
  • Enjoy Benefits of Nature during Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Latest News: Watch Latest Wild & Wonderful Episode, Tune in for Free Sustainability Lunch & Learn Webinar, Forest Preserve Foundation Board Visits River Trail Nature Center, Save the Date for Annual Daley Plaza Take Over
  • Upcoming Events, and
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Learn more here.

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Sully Pond

American White Pelicans resting on Sulky Pond at Crabtree Nature Center. Photo taken by Jeff Rapp May 1st.

Friday, May 12

Spring Bird Migration Walk: 8 a.m. Friday, May 12, at Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Track spring bird migration with naturalists on a guided walk. Bring binoculars and insect repellent and dress for the weather. Free. To register, contact susan.baert@citizensforconservation.org or (847) 532-5764.

Maifest: Noon to 11 p.m. Friday, May 12, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove. The brewery hosts its first Maifest with live music, German games, new beer releases and a special small batch tent, food trucks and more. buffalocreekbrewing.com.

Gallery Open House: 4 p.m. Friday, May 12, at Mainstreet Gallery, 16 E. Main St., Lake Zurich. See original art, jewelry, glass, greeting cards and pottery while enjoying wine and cheese. Features new works including from land conservation-inspired oil painter Jan Elbert. (847) 550-0016 or mainstreetartcenter.com.

Art Clash: 7 p.m. Friday, May 12, at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin. Annual painting competition series where the audience votes for each clash’s winner. The eight finalists will come together in the City Final in June. After the event, the artwork created will be available to bid on. There are three rounds for each event, with the first round beginning at 7:10 p.m. $12. sidestreetstudioarts.org/artclash.

Saturday, May 13

Dundee Depot Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, May 13, through Oct. 28, at The Depot, 319 N. River St., East Dundee. Vendors selling veggies, honey, flowers, plants, soaps, antiques, collectibles and more. dundeedepot.com.

Morning Bird Walk for World Migratory Bird Day: 8-10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. See how many migrating birds you can spot on a guided bird hike. Birders of all levels are welcome; binoculars available to borrow. Free. (847) 381-6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Spring Plant, Craft & Bake Sale: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at St. Hugh of Lincoln Episcopal Church, 36W957 Highland Ave., Elgin. Spring vendor boutique, homegrown indoor and outdoor plants, pre-owned garden tools, patio items, lawn accessories, pet products, baked goods and more. sthugh.net.

Fire Up! Food Truck Festival: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at Rylko Park, 1000 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove. Benefits Project Fire Buddies. (847) 409-5012.

Night of Percussion: 6 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at Buffalo Grove High School Theater, 1100 W. Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove. The Buffalo Grove High School Percussion Ensemble will perform solo and ensemble performances on marimba, xylophone, drum set and more. $5. (847) 398-7705 or BGBAND.org.

Sunday, May 14

Mother’s Day with Birds of Prey: 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 14, at Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. See great horned, barn, barred and screech owls, plus a peregrine falcon and red-shouldered and broad-winged hawks, and the star of the show: a snowy owl. Kids will have a chance to dissect owl pellets. $20 per car. stillmannc.org.

More entertainment opportunities can be found here.

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Amro Rajab, 8, of Hoffman Estates makes bubbles during the Cook County Forest Preserve Earth Day play day at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington Hills. – Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2022

Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, with Arbor Day soon to follow on April 28. A variety of suburban events offer opportunities to learn about the environment, get tips on going green, volunteer or just enjoy the outdoors. Check out our list:

Earth Day, Nature Play: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Play, plant, paint and pretend. Celebrate Earth Day with family-fun nature activities. Free. Call (847) 381-6592 or email Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Earth Day Celebration: 10 a.m. to noon Friday, April 21, at Barrington Area Library, 505 N. Northwest Hwy., Barrington. For children. Enjoy crafts and a game and view a documentary film about our planet on the big screen. Drop in. balibrary.org.

Earth Day Celebration: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Learn what you can do to help the Earth with educational activities, games, and a craft. Zoo admission is $5 for residents or $5.50 for nonresidents. Children 1 and younger and U.S. military with ID are free. dtpd.org.

 Earth Day Community Shred Event: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22, at Baird & Warner, 1557 S. Randall Road, Algonquin. On-site shredding truck. Electronic recycling: computers, cellphones, radios, ink and toner, DVD and VHS players, video game consoles, cameras, camcorders. No TVs or monitors. facebook.com/bwalgonquin/.

Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Plant Sale: Saturday, April 29th, at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. One of the largest seasonal plant sales in the Chicago region. It offers thousands of carefully chosen plants, and expert Plant Geniuses are available throughout the sale to answer questions and suggest plants. Already sold out on April 27-28. Some timed entries still available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29. Tickets at mortonarb.org.

Find more here.

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