Enjoy what’s left of summer by signing up for a Forest Preserve District of Will County program. The August lineup includes food trucks, a campfire at Isle a la Cache, a freshwater mussel paddling and digging program and an online hummingbird banding program. Register online on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the schedule:
Food Truck Friday: 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, Whalon Lake, Naperville. All ages, food available for purchase.
Each Friday night through August at rotating forest preserves, different food trucks will be serving up their favorite fare for you to enjoy. In addition to yummy and convenient food, soak in the views and amenities of the forest preserves. Dine onsite or grab and go. The lineup for Aug. 20 is: Cheesie’s and Cupcakes for Courage.
Hike and Seek!: 6-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Free, all ages.
Prior to this Forest Preserve District program, download the free Seek app from iNaturalist on your phone. A naturalist will share the ins and outs of using the app to identify different plants, animals and fungi. Then, try to find the most species as you hike the preserve. Super seekers will receive prizes. Register online or call 708-946-2216.
Fire on the Isle: 8:30-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Free, all ages.
Enjoy a Forest Preserve District summertime campfire with friends and family. Roast marshmallows, make s’mores or join an optional starlit hike. Feel free to bring camp chairs or blankets and your own treats to roast. Meet at the amphitheater. Register online by Wednesday, Aug. 18, or call 815-886-1467.
Hike and Stretch: 8-9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Ages 13 or older, $18 per person.
Take in the fresh air and stunning views along a 0.5-mile paved hiking trail, followed by a slow, yin-style, stretch-forward yoga flow led by instructor Danielle O’Leary. Bring comfortable clothing and footwear, a water bottle and a yoga mat or beach towel. Feel free to bring a camera or journal. The hike starts on the southwest side of Plum Creek Nature Center’s main entrance. Register online by Friday, Aug. 20, or call 708-946-2216.
Freshwater Mussel Paddle and Dig: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 21, McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove, Channahon. Ages 12 or older, $20 per person.
Dig deep into the mysterious world of freshwater mussels. Travel by kayak from the shores of the Forest Preserve District’s Four Rivers Environmental Education Center to where mussels dwell. Learn how to find them and just how beneficial they are to all the creatures that depend on our rivers. Participants will get in the water to look for mussels, so be sure to wear clothes that can get wet and shoes that will stay on your feet. Register online by Thursday, Aug. 19, or call 815-722-9470.
Native Plants in Full Bloom: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Free, ages 18 or older.
Stroll along the 0.25-mile sidewalk to see what a landscaped native garden looks like. Whether you are working on a native garden right now or looking to create one in your backyard, this Forest Preserve District program will inspire you. Bloom times, light requirements and other recommendations will be shared to help you plan your own space. Register online by Friday, Aug. 20, or call 708-946-2216.
Wellness Walkers: 9-11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 22, Messenger Woods Nature Preserve, Homer Glen. Free, all ages.
Studies show that spending time in nature is healing, restoring and soothing and great for our mental health and physical health. Let’s get those steps in while meeting new people with similar interests and exploring new preserves. Messenger Woods Nature Preserve showcases a mature oak forest and the peaceful Spring Creek. Meet at Hawthorn Grove Shelter. Register online or call 708-946-2216.
Bilingual Hike: 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access, Shorewood. Free, all ages.
Experience a bilingual guided hike in the woods. ¡Experiencia una caminata guiada bilingüe en el bosque de Hammel Woods! As participants walk the trails, they will learn about the many plants and animals that call this forest community home. This hike is intended for both English and Spanish speakers. A Spanish-speaking interpreter will accompany the Forest Preserve District naturalist on the hike. Register online by Monday, Aug. 23, or call 815-722-9470.
Hummingbird Banding Live!: noon-1 p .m. Thursday, Aug. 26, online at Facebook.com/WillCoForests. Free, all ages.
Join the Forest Preserve District on Facebook to watch live as hummingbirds are banded by a licensed bird bander with the Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders. View the hummingbirds up close as they are measured, banded and released. Learn how banding is used to help find out more about where hummingbirds go when they start their perilous migration south to their wintering grounds. This program is sponsored by the Thorn Creek Audubon Society.
For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.