Learn Nature with us!

 

A full line-up of (mostly) free educational programs that are close to home are offered at Volo Bog State Natural Area. Keep an eye out on our home page and calendar for official dates & times.

 

Donations are happily accepted by the sites' associated Friends groups. 

For a complete list of programs offered for Youth Groups and Scout Groups, please visit the IDNR's website  - Volo Bog Interpretive Programs. For more information and reservations, call (815-) 344-1294 or email dnr.volobog@illinois.gov. Reservations are requested for most programs and required for some.

Please check our calendar for official dates & times.

Summer Wetland Botany

 Summer

From the familiar (cattails and arrowheads) to the unique (pitcher plants and rose pogonia orchids) we will take an in-depth look at the diverse vegetation of our marsh and bog.  Bog Naturalists lead this workshop that will introduce some of the more obscure characters and take a deeper look at the more familiar.  The program is both indoor & out; participants should dress accordingly.  Geared to adults and interested youth ages 11 and up.

  

Reservations are requested by emailing dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or phoning 815-344-1294.  Please share number of people and ages of minors.  Program may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior.

 

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

 

Insect Safari
LNCI!

Summer

Bring your parents and discover a world full of amazing bugs, beetles, hoppers, crawlers, stingers, and spiders too!  Stacy Iwanicki will show how to use a sweep net to catch and identify various families of arthropods. 

Ages 4 and up are welcome.  Registration is requested at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov  Group size is limited - Walk-ins welcome if space allows but walk may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior. 

 

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

Pond Life
LNCI!

Summer

 

Stop by Pond Hollow Pond to look for dragonfly nymphs & whirligig beetles!  We'll be looking for these and other aquatic macro invertebrates - that's science talk for little water critters!  We've got the magnifying glasses and dish pans, dip nets and siphons.  You bring your good eyes and curiosity.  This program is entirely at the pond and is drop-in style.  No reservations required.  Adults must accompany kids ages; minimum age 5 please.

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

Spider Walk
LNCI!

Fall

 

Morning dew reveals spiders' webs in all sorts of places.  We'll also look for them under logs, lights and crevasses.  We'll have magnifying glasses and "bug" jars for close-up looks. Reservations requested at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or 815-344-1294; walk-ins welcome but walk may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior.

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

Fall Tree ID
LNCI!

Fall

 

Details coming!

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

Dried Prairie Flower Arranging
LNCI!

Fall

 

LNCI

 

Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki draws from her long-ago days of working at a flower shop to help participants create unique and whimsical floral arrangements using the dried remains of native prairie plants.  The arrangements are just in time to grace your home for Thanksgiving and through the holiday season then provide a seed source to reintroduce native species to your yard.  Bring your own container – perhaps a vase or basket – we’ll supply the rest.

 

Open to adults and interested youth ages 11 and older.

 

Reservations requested by emailing dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or by phoning 815-344-1294.  Tell us your name(s), phone number and ages of minors.  Group size is limited to 12; walk-ins welcome if space allows.  Program may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior.

 

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

 

Winter Wetland Botany

Winter

Learn to identify a variety of wetland trees, shrubs & dried forbs (wildflowers) in their winter conditions.  This workshop begins indoors with a self-paced study of herbarium specimens including winter varieties.  The afternoon is spent along the boardwalk discovering the species in their wetland habitat.  Bring a magnifying glass or borrow ours.  Program is geared to adults but attentive kids ages 11 and older are also welcome.  Registration is requested at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov  Walk-ins are welcome but program may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior.

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

Animal Tracking

Winter

Hop like a rabbit!  Bound like a mink!  Waddle like an opossum!  Join Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki to learn how different animals walk in order to understand their track patterns.  A look at their feet (rubber tracks!) will help us learn their prints.  Then, we’ll head outside for some real-life examples.

For ages 8+ 

Building on what we learned in the morning session, we’ll take an extended hike in search of more signs of winter mammals and birds.  Dress for outdoor weather with appropriate foot wear.

 

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

Winter Ecology Hike

Winter

Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki will take participants to some special locations to contemplate the many adaptations and secret lives of winter critters. Please dress for the weather in layers.  Ages 10 - adult are welcome.   

 

Registration requested at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or 815-344-1294.  Tell us how many adults & kids (with ages of the latter).  

 

Walk-ins welcome but program may be cancelled if minimum registration is not achieved by 24 hours prior.

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

Flying WILD Teacher Workshops
LNCI!
 

Check Back for 2019 Dates!

Flying Wild June dates have been cancelled and will be rescheduled. Please check back for updates or contact Stacy Iwanicki at DNR.Volobog@illinois.gov.

Flying WILD - Tools for Middle School Teachers (& others) about Birds, Science & Culture at Volo Bog State Natural Area

The following dates have been cancelled and will be rescheduled:

  • Thursday, June 14th 2018   9:15 am - 3:45pm

  • Saturday, June 16th 2018    9:15am - 3:45pm

Small fee includes Book, Lunch & Snacks - and Professional Development Hours for those who need them.

Formal and informal educators alike are invited to attend this workshop to bring an appreciation and understanding of birds to people of all ages, with a special twist for middle school students.  Teachers, librarians, naturalists, home-school educators, scout leaders, etc. will love the over 40 activities included in the curriculum.  Some can be put together by middle-schools students to be shared with their younger peers; others can be presented by middle school teachers to their students; still other activities are ideal for bird festivals conducted by volunteers and/or students for the whole community.  Contact us at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov for more details. 

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.

 

Spring Wetland Botany

Spring

 

The marsh and bog are popping with plant life in the spring!  Whether you are a new student of botany or a seasoned botanist, this workshop is for you.  We begin in the Visitor Center with a self-paced study of herbarium specimens and literature search, then head out onto the boardwalk to find them "in person" and share their stories.  Up to 30 species including six ferns, horsetail, a couple sedges, bog buckbean, starflower, buttercups, blueflag iris, chokeberry, winterberry holly and of course poison sumac, tamarack and pitcher plants are all part of this early summer line-up.  Geared to adults and youth ages 12 & up.  Group size is limited; Registration requested atdnr.volobog@illinois.gov or 815-344-1294.  Walkins welcome as space allows.

For official dates and times, check our calendar regularly for updates - subject to change.