Will County Forest Preserve Programs

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Learn how to have a eco-friendly wedding and more about the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s popular Four Rivers Environmental Education Center event space during a Wedding Open House on Jan. 28. Other upcoming programs feature the history of taxidermy, coloring to reduce stress with mandalas and craft programs involving dioramas for kids and adults. Online registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the lineup:

History at Home – Taxidermy (Zoom Webinar): 6-6:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, online. Join a Forest Preserve District naturalist to explore how animals are preserved for museum displays. This program is a broad historical overview of the field of taxidermy, not an instructional program. Free, ages 13 or older. Register online for the Zoom link.

Four Rivers Wedding Open House: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Interested in planning a wedding or event at Four Rivers in 2023 or beyond? Attend this open house to view the facility, collect information, ask questions of staff and get ideas for planning an eco-friendly celebration. Call 815-722-9470 or email [email protected] for more information. Free, ages 18 or older. Registration is recommended.

Meditative Mandalas: 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, Sugar Creek Administration Center, Joliet. This program promotes relaxation, meditation and wellness through the art of mandalas. Join Crystal Simpelo, author of “The Colorful Expressions of Your Soul: A Mandala Coloring Book and Meditative Creative Journal.” Participants will color a mandala from her book, learn how to draw a mandala of their own and create a large nature mandala as a group. You will leave with the knowledge of how to meditatively create mandalas in nature and on paper as a form of relaxation. All class materials will be provided. Free, ages 16 or older. Register by Jan. 26.

Crafting a la Cache – Pocket Playscape: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Jan. 28, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Celebrate National Hobby Month by crafting an animal habitat in a recycled mint tin. A naturalist will discuss different animals, their habitats and other tin-spirations for your project. Materials will be provided. Free, ages 6 or older. Register by Jan. 25.

Crafting a la Cache – Handheld Habitats: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Celebrate National Hobby Month by crafting a handheld habitat, card-sized curiosity cabinet or dollar-sized diorama in a recycled mint tin! A naturalist will join in to discuss different animal habitats, natural environments, curiosity cabinets and other tin-spirations for your project. All materials will be provided, but if you have small leftovers from previous craft projects of your own, this is a great opportunity to recycle and repurpose! Register by Jan. 25.

Volunteer Mornings: 9 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Jan. 29, Hadley Valley – Gougar Road Access in Joliet; and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Alessio Prairie in Crest Hill. Get some fresh air and exercise while helping to make a difference in your community by attending one or more of the Forest Preserve’s volunteer mornings. Activities will include removing invasive woody plants. Space is limited, and registration is required. To get started, complete a waiver online. For information, contact Emily Kenny at 815-722-7364 or [email protected].

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

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