June 10 – August 10

Free to participate

Discover and experience nature together.

Every Wednesday, June 10 through July 1, visit Natural Land Institute’s website to find new interactive activities. Fall in love with nature, discover your outdoor surroundings, spend time with your kids and grandkids and learn how you can help protect and promote nature. Complete at least six of the activities and the accompanying questionnaires by Monday, August 10 to earn your very own personalized Junior Naturalist Badge.

The annual in-person Family Nature Day event, usually held at Nygren Wetland Preserve (Rockton, IL) on the fourth Saturday in June, was canceled after it was determined that this was necessary due to the COVID-19 restrictions continuing through the summer. NLI explored alternatives to bring a family friendly event to the community that provided similar experiences of first-hand learning in nature and with the help of volunteers and partner organizations created the new Family Nature Adventures that combines virtual and real outdoor learning adventures for families to get outside, learn and explore.

Families will have the opportunity to work together so children can earn a Nygren Wetland Junior Naturalist Badge and Certificate by participating when they watch a learning video, do an activity outside, and answer questions.

Filling out and submitting a participation form will be required to earn the Junior Naturalist badge when participants have completed 6 or more of the 13 learning videos and activities over the course of the two-month event timeline.

New videos will be posted on www.NaturalLand.org/FamilyNatureAdventures each week for the first four weeks – 3 on June 10, 17, 24 and 4 on July 1. These videos will also be announced by email to NLI’s email list on the dates listed. Anyone can visit the website on or after the listed dates to see what has been added and to watch the videos and participate in the activities in any order and at their own pace.

The videos will include a variety of nature themed topics: wetlands, fish, water, mammals, birds, archaeology, pollinators, butterflies, creepy crawlers, prairies, forests, seeds, and soils.

Learning video hosts include NLI’s Education Committee members and other volunteers: Rick Barton, David Brandt, Machelle Dopkins, Laura Sjoquist, Dawn and John Skupien, Julie Tackett, Stacy and Dana Wallace, and Barbara Williams.

Partner organizations providing videos include Burpee Museum of Natural History, Macktown Living History, Severson Dells Nature Center, Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries, and Welty Environmental Center.

A bonus activity that is included is a virtual coloring book that features animals in their habitat. This can be downloaded and printed for anyone to color. It was created by artist Laura Sjoquist.

The following businesses and organizations are supporting this free event for the community:

Event Sponsors ($500):  Northwest Bank, and the Northern Regional Groundwater Protection and Planning Committee (NRGPPC), Supporting Sponsor ($250): Nicor Gas.

Grantors: This program is supported by grants from the Dr. Louis & Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and the Brubaker Charitable Trust.

Note: The Family Nature Adventures event page will be available to view at www.NaturalLand.org starting Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

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