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Thorn Creek Nature Center

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THORN CREEK NATURE CENTER                       
247 Monee Road, Park Forest, IL 60466

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May 1, 2020 Facility Update 
Thorn Creek Woods Management Commission

In keeping with Governor J. B. Pritzker’s modified stay-at-home order, Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve will reopen its parking lot on May 1, 2020. 

Through May 30, Thorn Creek Nature Center will remain closed, public programs are canceled and the porta potty is closed.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve trails are open to the public and visitors are urged to adhere to the state's guidelines for their safety and the safety of others.

Members of the public must continue to help limit the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet as recommended by health authorities. Groups cannot gather in numbers larger than 10, and they will be cited by police if they do so and it may be necessary to temporarily close the lot when social distancing is not being maintained.


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. Here are 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).

· Wearing a face covering at all times is encouraged.

· 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.


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.

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;;; P.O. Box 32, Richton Park, IL 60471.  

Workday March2018 by Dena Petraitis