Family Centered Nature Program Continues Through August 11

Perhaps you love spending time in the outdoors to reset and re-center or reconnect with your family. Maybe you feel the tug of stewardship to the natural world. Or maybe that calling is coming from your kiddos, seeking some up-close-and-personal encounters with the natural world around them. No matter your motivation, University of Illinois Master Naturalist program meets your interest with a modern, hybrid format for flexible, cup-filling, and family-pleasing fun, happening all summer long.

Master Naturalist classes serve as both a fun social outing for friends, families and individuals, and also to officially train and certify Master Naturalists. The hybrid approach is a combination of both outdoor classroom-style learning sessions and field trips. Classes meet weekly on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. at the Carlyle Lake Visitor Center with fieldtrips to various area locations. The program serves area residents and includes special activities for children ages 7-12 attending with an adult. Pick and choose the natural resources sessions that appeal to you for only $25 per family. Remaining sessions include:

Forest & Invasive Species-July 21

Field Trip-River-July 23

Botany-July 28

Ornithology-August 4

Field Trip-Wetland-August 6

Art of Interpretation-August 11

In one recent session participants learned how to use an anemometer to measure wind speed and direction. This is one of the tools commonly used by meteorologists to monitor the weather. One field trip took class members to Centralia Foundation Prairie for a plant survey. David Sachtleben, steward for Centralia Foundation Prairie, and prairie restoration expert Henry Eilers, taught the group to identify common local species of plants including their botanical names.

Choose a session or two and join the fun, right here in your own back yard. For more information, call Chris Lueking at 618-548-1446 or register online at

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