A Close Examination of the Natural World

Family Nature Day was held Saturday, June 24 at Nygren Wetland Preserve. The purpose of this event is to provide hands-on learning in nature for individuals of all ages and families. There were 11 Learning Stations plus guided tours of the Anne Meyer Prairie Garden. Learning Stations were scattered throughout the preserve and gave guests an opportunity to walk or take a wagon ride to the various locations.

Kids got a passport booklet with information about the learning station topic, activities, and places to draw or record what they saw and did. If they got their passport stamped by 6 or more learning stations they earned a Nygren Wetland Junior Naturalist Badge and Certificate of Recognition for their efforts. This year 39 children earned a badge. Adults received a checklist to get stamped so they could earn a prize. “It’s a fun way to get people moving around the preserve and visiting the various stations so they can see and experience nature up close,” said Kim Johnsen, coordinator of the event. More than 180 people attended and helped make Family Nature Day an enjoyable experience for guests, volunteers, and station hosts. Johnsen said she received very positive feedback from the Learning Station hosts, “Children and adults were very engaged in the activities and the hosts told me they had some very meaningful conversations with the guests.” Thank you to the volunteers and Learning Station hosts for their support from set up to clean up.

VOLUNTEERS: Paul Baits, Karen and Chuck Blomgren,Michael Bugler, Lynn Eichman, Chad Etnyre, Ruth Little, Mark Maffei, Linda Miller, Bev Moore, Alan and Jennifer Nowicki, Ashley Sarver, Pam Shaver, Keith Syfert, Julie Trank, Chris Reisetter, Annette Weston, Sara Winter, and Carrie Zethmayr.

STATION HOSTS:
Forests:Welty Environmental Center – Samantha Foster, Stephanie and Dave Dobson, Katie Udell
Mammals: Stacy and Andrea Wallace
Archeology and Macktown Living History: Reid Ferguson, Lucy Andrignola
Wetlands: Rick Barton, Ellwyn Englof, Rick Rudey
Pollinators: Barbara Williams
Birds: Dan Williams
Invaders: Ed Cope
Butterflies and Seeds: Julie Tackett, Jamie Johannsen; Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries – Lynnette Nelson, Dave Nelson
Raptors: Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab & Education – Candy Ridlbauer, Cathy, Christine
Prairies & Guided Tours: Kerry Leigh, Zach Grycan, Anita Johnson, Lee & Lynda Johnson
Water Protection: Kerry Leigh, Dave Johnson, Peg Lochman

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors!
Pale Purple Coneflower Sponsor ($1,000) – Bugler Design Inc.
Common Milkweed Sponsor ($500) – Rockford Litho, Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries

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