Bonding at Family Nature Day. Photo: Jill Kennay

Free Admission Family Nature Day Receives Grant

Natural Land Institute (NLI) is pleased to announce that it has received a $2,500 grant from the Dr. Louis & Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois Community Grants Program. This grant supports Family Nature Day, a FREE ADMISSION family themed event that features learning stations spread throughout Nygren Wetland Preserve in Rockton, Illinois.

Digging for artifacts with Macktown Living History at the Archaeology Learning Station. Photo: Jill Kennay

Family Nature Day will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2020, 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. All ages will enjoy visiting the learning stations featuring different topics about the natural world and participating in the activities. Attendees can walk around on their own, ride a wagon, and get a guided tour of the prairie. Children receive a Nygren Wetland Junior Naturalist badge and certificate after visiting the learning stations and adults will get a gift after visiting the stations. A variety of topics are featured at the stations including: prairies, raptors, seeds, healthy waters, living soils, butterflies, birds, wetlands, fish, archaeology, forests, mammals, native bees and wasps.

Looking at a chrysalis at the Butterflies station. Photo: Jill Kennay

Registration is requested for this free event and can be made after Feb. 1, 2020 by visiting the NLI website calendar at Nygren Wetland Preserve is located at 3190 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton, Ill., 61072. For more information call 815/964-6666 or email:

About the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois:

The mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is to serve as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for the current and future needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding in 1953, CFNIL has granted more than $71 million for charitable purposes in the region. Learn more about CFNIL’s grantmaking and commitment to endowment at

About Nygren Wetland Preserve:

The Carl & Myrna Nygren Wetland Preserve is the largest wildlife sanctuary, at 721 acres, that is owned by the Natural Land Institute. NLI purchased the land with a lead gift from the Carl & Myrna Nygren Estate, as well as gifts from many other donors in 2000. NLI will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the preserve throughout 2020. There are upland sand prairies, lowland prairies, wetlands, bottomland forest, oxbow lakes and ponds in the preserve. Raccoon Creek runs through the preserve and the Rock and Pecatonica Rivers flow along its borders. The Dianne Nora Nature Trail is a free 2.5 mile hiking trail around the wetland and is part of the Prairie State Hike app (99¢ in the Apple or Android Store).

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