You don’t have to go far to be amazed by nature, and naturalists from St. Charles Park District’s Hickory Knolls Discovery Center hope to bring that awareness to local groups and organizations through speakers bureau programs..
The speakers, or traveling naturalists, will bring nature in a variety of forms through slides, artifacts and other hands-on items to your civic group or club on a topic of your choosing. The menu of program options is wide and includes topics such as how to start a pollinator garden; learning about invasive species, witness trees and prairies; and how to correctly identify birds and mammals.
“We hope the audience understands you don’t have to travel to some faraway place to see fascinating things in nature,” said Chris Gingrich, assistant superintendent of outdoor education.
“Nature is not just polar bears and rainforests; exciting and fascinating nature is everywhere – even in your own backyard,” Gingrich added. “When residents begin to understand what’s available locally, they’re more likely to care about the natural world and more likely to take action.”
For example, residents who learn about the benefits of native gardens, may take action in their own backyard; planting native species which contribute to the ecosystem by providing food for wildlife.
The Speakers Bureau topics were chosen based on other popular park district programs, audience favorites and relevant topics for the season. The menu will change periodically throughout the year.
Call Hickory Knolls to schedule a speaker. The fee is $75 per program. To learn more, visit https://www.stcnature.org/speakers-bureau/ or call Hickory Knolls at 630-513-4399.