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Fun days at the Forest Preserve’s 2021 event lineup

3/2/2021, 10:32 p.m.
Have some fun in 2021 with the Forest Preserve District of Will County and its extensive list of special events. ...
This Hine's emerald dragonfly quilt created by Meena Schaldenbrand of Michigan will be one of 182 on display during a national "Inspired by Endangered Species" quilt exhibit hosted by the Forest Preserve this summer. It's one of many events planned by the District for 2021. (Photo courtesy of Donna DeSoto)

Have some fun in 2021 with the Forest Preserve District of Will County and its extensive list of special events.

One of the most-anticipated events is the arrival in June of the national touring exhibition "Inspired by Endangered Species," which will feature 182 colorful handmade quilts portraying endangered flora and fauna. Offerings also include the "Sculpting WILD" juried art show through April 3,, the mouthwatering "Food Truck Fridays" in the summer and the popular "Woods Walk" self-paced hiking program in the fall.

Here is the 2021 lineup, which is subject to change if the COVID-19 pandemic, weather or any other unforeseen issues develop. For details on each event, including registration information and COVID-19 safety measures, check out the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org, which always has three months of activities listed.

• Sculpting WILD Juried Art Show: March 2-April 3, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Thirty-eight sculptures vie for top honors and visitors get to pick the People's Choice Award.

• Pollinators – Little Helpers, Big Results: April 3-May 30, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville. This on-loan exhibition from the Paly Foundation will instruct you how to help precious pollinators survive.

• Spring Preserve Challenge: May 1-May 31, various preserves and trails. Complete recreational activities in various preserves and record your feats on a log.

• Migration Celebration: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. May 8, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. See songbirds passing through on their way to Canada and learn about their journeys as a way to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day.

• Food Truck Fridays: June-August, Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access in Shorewood; Hickory Creek – LaPorte Road Access in Mokena; Whalon Lake in Naperville; and Messenger Marsh in Homer Glen. Eat, digest, enjoy!

• Inspired by Endangered Species Quilt Exhibition: June 19-July 25, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center; Isle a la Cache Museum; Plum Creek Nature Center; Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet. The plight of 182 species will be on full display with 24-inch-by-24-inch quilted panels at Forest Preserve visitor centers.

• Island Showcase and Food Truck Friday: 4-7 p.m. July 30, Isle a la Cache Museum. Celebrate the completion of the new outdoor Native American lifeways exhibit and enjoy a bite to eat from a food truck at the new picnic pavilion.

• National Night Out: 5-7:30 p.m. August 4, Monee Reservoir in Monee Township. Take part in fun activities offered by local police departments, including Forest Preserve police.

• Don't be a Zombie! Be Prepared Exhibition: September 1-November 28, Plum Creek Nature Center. An on-loan exhibition from Purdue University Agricultural Design Center. Learn how not to turn into a zombie by surviving natural emergencies.

• Woods Walk Challenge: September 1-November 30, 10 trails throughout the District. Hike at your own pace and challenge yourself to complete all 10 pre-selected trails. Log seven of 10 trails to earn a medal.

• Pelican Watch: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. September 25, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Check out the American white pelicans that hang around Four Rivers each year during migration.

• Harvest Hustle: October 1-31, on trails throughout the District. Use an app to track your 5K on any preselected trail and submit the information to win a T-shirt.

• Riverview Farmstead Open House: noon-4 p.m. October 2, Riverview Farmstead Preserve in Naperville. Mosey back to the 1800s when the Clow Family farmed this site in Wheatland Township. Tour the buildings and learn about the preserve's history.

• Shadows of the Night: 5-9 p.m. October 23, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Hike lantern-lit trails on a crisp fall evening to discover nocturnal creatures sneaking around the woods.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visitReconnectWithNature.org.