Roll up your sleeves and come out to Nature Helping Hands Day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 25, at Hickory Knolls. During this drop-in event, you’ll meet the restoration crew, learn about restoration work and even get to try out equipment such as the water pumps used during controlled burns.
“Many people enjoy a walk in a natural area, but when they see restoration work happening, it can be a pretty radical sight and can even look destructive,” said Chris Gingrich, Assistant Superintendent of Outdoor Education. “They may ask: Why are trees being cut down? Why were some of those plants killed or removed? We hope that residents who participate in Helping Hands Day have a better understanding of the ‘why’ behind restoring native habitats.”
You and your family members will have a chance to see and try out equipment, learn about native plants, collect seed, and tour the expanded native plant propagation area to see how the Park District uses this seed to grow its own plant stock.
Nature Helping Hands Day is just one activity this fall aimed at helping families better understand their local natural areas.
Nature Photography for Kids
Does your child have a good eye? Sign them up for Nature Through the Lens from 1-3 p.m. Sept. 26. Not only will your child walk away with some beautiful photos of nature, they will be able to identify the plants in the images.
Led by a Hickory Knolls program facilitator, the class will provide nature education by learning basic plant identification and photography skills such as color, lighting, zoom, focus, and close up versus landscape images.
Through a partnership with the St. Charles Public Library, you and your little one will have many options to choose from to listen to a variety of nature-inspired stories.
Library staff will host Twinleaf Tales from 10-10:30 a.m. on the first Friday of every month from September-December. Listen to a story and then make a craft inside the Discovery Center, and then head outside to play in the Hideout or explore the natural area.
Another story time will be hosted by the library, for children who aren’t ready for ghost stories around the campfire. The Not-So-Scary Campfire will be held from 7-7:45 p.m. Oct. 14. You’ll enjoy a fall evening outdoors, around the campfire, minus the scary stories. Library staff will share entertaining, not-so-scary tales, followed by marshmallow roasting.
Another activity for children 6 and older is the Squirrel’s Picnic from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Your child will build a table for the squirrels in your backyard to eat on. Find the perfect dining spot, sprinkle with seed and watch from afar as the squirrels dine in style.