Nature Nearby: Spring Has Sprung in Kane County Forest Preserves

Nature Nearby: Spring Has Sprung in Kane County Forest Preserves

  • Nature Nearby is written by Valerie Blaine, the nature programs manager for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County. You may reach her by email,

Spring has sprung in the forest preserves, and April is a great month to get out to enjoy the outdoors! Wildflowers are poking through the leaves on the forest floor, flocks of migrating birds appear every day overhead, and the sun stays out just a little bit longer each day.

In case you need an excuse — or, an enticement — to get outside this month, we’ve got just the thing. Check out the line-up of April programs in the Forest Preserve District of Kane County! There’s something for everyone, from green thumbs to equestrians and bird-watchers to scouts. A complete list of programs is available in this online spring edition of the Forest Preserve District’s Tree Line newsletter.

Below are just a few highlights of the month.

Herb and Vegetable Gardening Galore

For those of you who are eager to jump-start the gardening season, there are two workshops at Creek Bend Nature Center. Herb Gardening is the theme of the workshop from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, April 9. Vegetable Gardening will be the focus from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, April 23.

Forest Preserve District naturalists will discuss the natural and cultural impact of plants species that can grow in our home gardens. Following the discussion, participants will be provided with a pot, soil and plants to create their own arrangement to keep.

Go to one or both workshops! Advance registration is required. Registration is $10 per person, per garden, and includes the materials. Call 630-444-3190 or e-mail to register. Creek Bend Nature Center is located within LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, at 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles.

Nature Tykes and Little Naturalists

“Spring rain” is the theme of Kane County Forest Preserve District’s spring nature programs for children.

For the younger set, there are several programs scheduled in April.  “Nature Tykes,” for 3-year-olds, and “Little Naturalists”, for 4- to 5-year-olds, will take place at Creek Bend Nature Center on Thursday, April 27.

The theme this month will be spring rain. Each program includes a naturalist-led presentation, a craft, and a short hike. Nature Tykes takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and Little Naturalists, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Advance registration is required. The fee is $5 per child. Call 630-444-3190 or e-mail to register.

Earth Day Celebrations!

The international Earth Day falls in April. In the Forest Preserve District, EVERY day is Earth Day — but in the spirit of the official celebration, the district has two special events lined up.

There will be an Earth Day Open House at Creek Bend Nature Center on Thursday, April 20. Stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Throughout the day there will be activities for everyone, from stories and crafts in the Nature Center, to a habitat restoration activity in the woods.

There will be Earth Day treats for all, and volunteers will treat Mother Earth by cleaning up the trails. Call 630-444-3190 or e-mail for information.

The annual Earth Day Tree Planting will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Bring your family and friends to help Forest Preserve District staffers plant oak trees at Kenyon Farm Forest Preserve in South Elgin. The district provides trees, mulch, and water — all they need is you to place the trees in the ground. Holes will be pre-dug!

Be sure to arrive at 10 a.m. for the introduction, and instructions on tree planting.

Attendees will plant trees until 1 p.m. or until supplies run out, whichever comes first! Groups of 10 or more, please contact the district’s volunteer coordinator at 630-208-8662 or e-mail to RSVP. Individuals or groups of less than 10 do not need to register in advance.

This April, be sure to get outdoors for one of these fun programs, or just for a walk on the trails. The woods await you! Happy spring!