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Thorn Creek Nature Center

Other Link http://tcwoods.org

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  1. Trails
THORN CREEK NATURE CENTER                       
247 Monee Road, Park Forest, IL 60466
708-747-6320    
thorn_creek@att.net

Website: http://tcwoods.org

Note:  Thorn Creek Nature Center parking lot will be closed to the public Monday – Wednesday until 2 p.m. June 7-30, 2021 to host Park Forest Parks and Recreation Summer Camp.

Note:  Thorn Creek Nature Center parking lot will be closed to the public Monday – Wednesday until 2 p.m. in July, 2021 to host Park Forest Parks and Recreation Summer Camp.




 

Forty years ago, June 1978, Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. It is one of the largest forested areas in northeastern Illinois...the fifth largest in the Illinois Nature Preserves system. This large dry mesic oak hickory forest is dominated by 150-year old white and red oak trees with a rich understory of native shrubs, rare plants and spring wildflowers. A walk through the Woods is a 3.5-mile nature adventure. The preserve also features Thorn Creek Nature Center in an 1861 white steepled building, and the historic Hornicek Farm. 



Workday March2018 by Dena Petraitis

FRIENDS OF THORN CREEK WOODS

Join Friends of Thorn Creek Woods and support the 985 acre Thorn Creek Nature Preserve and its Nature Center. Formed in 1969, Friends efforts ensured permanent protection for this unique open space enhancing Park Forest and the region. Friends volunteers build and repair trails, create exhibits, monitor species, staff the nature center, lead programs, and raise funds for programs and improvements.  Members enjoy a quarterly newsletter and sponsor Earth Day, plus Spring and Fall meetings. Annual family membership is $20 or $50 for an organization; life membership is $200. For more information: 708-747-6320; thorn_creek@att.net; https://tcwoods.org; P.O. Box 32, Richton Park, IL 60471.  

 


bridge

Visiting Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve

Come visit our oak-hickory woodlands. Our trails are open! It’s been a particularly lovely spring and summer, so please do come and see what nature has to offer.  When visiting remember:

  • Visit alone or with members of your household
  •  Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet
  •  Wear a face covering when unable to social distance

And visit our webpage often…

Unfortunately, Thorn Creek Nature Center will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future. While this precludes normal public programming, we will be scheduling monthly outdoor programs for limited numbers of participants. These programs will be announced on the following websites: 

  • Thorn Creek Woods - www.tcwoods.org 
  • Forest Preserve District of Will County - www.reconnectwithnature.org 
  • Village of Park Forest - www.villageofparkforest.com

Our Naturalists continue to work at the nature center and from home. April is working one-on-one with volunteers for trail projects, nature center cleaning and other projects. She can be reached as usual by phone and email: 708-747-6320 and thorn_creek@att.net.


TAKE PRECAUTIONS BEFORE VISITING THORN CREEK WOODS NATURE PRESERVE

The Commission is urging members of the public to adopt all outdoor recreation safety measures recommended by the state as they visit Thorn Creek Nature Preserve. Please review the guidelines issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Thursday, April 23, 2020:

• Bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) and face coverings.

• Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.

• Stay home if you are sick or feeling any symptoms, such as fever, coughing, troubled breathing, and/or flu-like symptoms.

• Visit alone or with members of your household.

• Stay local; visit preserves that are closest to where you live.

• If you arrive at a preserve and crowds are forming, please return another time/day to visit.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper arm/elbow.

For information on the coronavirus contact your County Health Department.

Thorn Creek Nature Center 708-747-6320 or thorn_creek@att.net , https://tcwoods.org
Thorn Creek Woods Management Commission

 

 


Programs & Events 


Visit our website: http://tcwoods.org 


Wednesday Walkers spring2014 reduced

APRIL PROGRAMS

SEASONS AT THORN CREEK WOODS 
Saturday, April 10, 2021
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Thorn Creek Nature Center
Ages 13 – adult
9 participants maximum. 
Registration required by April 5: Call 708.747.6320

Discover the woods in a new way. Join naturalists to explore the woods and track seasonal changes throughout the year. Observe birds and insects, identify trees and flowers, follow tracks and much more. 

Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.

EARTH DAY AT THORN CREEK: AMPHIBIANS
Saturday, April 17, 2021
2-4 p.m. 
Thorn Creek Nature Center
Ages 13 - adult, 9 participants maximum
Registration required by April 12: Call 708.747.6320.

Join our Earth Day hike at 2 p.m. to explore woodland vernal ponds and wetlands listening for the calls of the wetland inhabitants!  Learn which frogs, toads and salamander live in these woods and why water is so important to them.

Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery. The event is sponsored by Jim Marzuki Fund for Public Programming.

PRAIRIE SAMPLER AND TRAIL WORKDAY 
Sunday, April 25, 2021
1-3 p.m.
Thorn Creek Nature Center
Ages 13 - adult, children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult
9 participants maximum
Registration required by April 19: Call 708.747.6320
  

Get down and dirty at our Thorn Creek workday.  Help repair boardwalks, maintain trails, or weed and nurture our prairie sampler and butterfly gardens. Bring gloves, favorite tools and dress for the weather. 

Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Trail work is on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.


MAY PROGRAMS

SEASONS AT THORN CREEK WOODS 
Saturday, May 1, 2021
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Ages 13 – adult
9 participants maximum

Discover the woods in a new way. Join naturalists to explore the woods and track seasonal changes throughout the year.  Observe birds and insects, identify trees and flowers, follow tracks and much more.  Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.

WOODLAND WILDFLOWER HIKE               
Saturday, May 15, 2021
1-3 p.m. 
Free! 
Ages 13-adult
9 participants maximum     
    

Even in shady Thorn Creek Woods there is a unique bouquet of wildflowers that thrive here.  Join us on a hike to discover which species are in bloom, learn their names and examine their physical appearance. Sponsored by the Thorn Creek Audubon Society. Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants will enjoy a 2-mile hike on natural surface trails across uneven terrain.

PRAIRIE SAMPLER AND TRAIL WORKDAY 
Saturday, May 22, 2021
1-3 p.m.
Free!
Ages 13 - adult, children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult
9 participants maximum


Get down and dirty at our Thorn Creek Workday. Help repair boardwalks, maintain trails, or weed and nurture our Prairie Sampler and butterfly gardens. Bring gloves, favorite tools and dress for the weather. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Trail work is on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.


JUNE PROGRAMS

Note:  Thorn Creek Nature Center parking lot will be closed to the public Monday – Wednesday until 2 p.m. June 7-30, to host Park Forest Parks and Recreation Summer Camp.

SEASONS AT THORN CREEK WOODS 
Saturday, June 12, 2021
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Ages 13 – adult
9 participants maximum

Discover the woods in a new way. Join naturalists to explore the woods and track seasonal changes throughout the year. Observe birds and insects, identify trees and flowers, follow tracks and much more. Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.

HIDDEN PONDS HIKE                                   
Saturday, June 19, 2021
1-3 p.m.
Free!
Ages 13-adult
9 participants maximum

Join us for a guided tour of the wet areas of Thorn Creek Woods. Discover vernal ponds, listen for the return of amphibian choruses and explore the marshes of Owl Lake and beyond. These low-lying areas provide vital habitat for woodland creatures and are an integral part of the Thorn Creek ecosystem. Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants will enjoy a 3-mile hike on natural surface trails across uneven terrain.

PRAIRIE SAMPLER AND TRAIL WORKDAY
Saturday, June 26, 2021
1-3 p.m.
Free!
Ages 13 - adult, children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult
9 participants maximum

Get down and dirty at our Thorn Creek Workday. Help repair boardwalks, maintain trails, or weed and nurture our Prairie Sampler and butterfly gardens. Bring gloves, favorite tools and dress for the weather.  Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Trail work is on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.


JULY PROGRAMS

Note:  Thorn Creek Nature Center parking lot will be closed to the public Monday – Wednesday until 2 p.m. in July, to host Park Forest Parks and Recreation Summer Camp.


SEASONS AT THORN CREEK WOODS  
Saturday, July 10, 2021
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Ages 13 – adult
9 participants maximum


Discover the woods in a new way. Join naturalists to explore the woods and track seasonal changes throughout the year. Observe birds and insects, identify trees and flowers, follow tracks and much more. Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.

FIREFLIES NIGHT HIKE               
Sunday, July 18, 2021
7:30-9:30 p.m.
Free! 
Ages 13-adult
9 participants maximum

Fireflies or lightning bugs, no matter what you call them, their flashing light seen throughout the night heralds the official arrival of summer. Join a naturalist on this popular hike and discover why fireflies flash back and forth to each other and what it means. Let the magic of “lightning bugs” entrance you on this summer night adventure.  Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be prepared to walk more than 1 mile outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain.


AUGUST PROGRAMS

SEASONS AT THORN CREEK WOODS
Saturday, August 21, 2021
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Ages 13 – adult
9 participants maximum

Discover the woods in a new way. Join naturalists to explore the woods and track seasonal changes throughout the year. Observe birds and insects, identify trees and flowers, follow tracks and much more.  Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Trails can be wet, muddy and slippery.

SOUNDS OF INSECTS HIKE                                               
Sunday, August 29, 2021
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Free! Ages 13-adult;
9 registrants maximum


Join us as we venture out on the trail at dusk listening for musical and mechanical insect sounds. Many insects become more active as the sun goes down. We’ll listen and learn the distinct sounds of common local species and why they make these sounds. Meet in front of nature center. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, face mask, binoculars, water bottle and be prepared to follow the social distancing of 6 feet. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven wet/ muddy terrain.