For Civic Groups & Local Organizations
If you can’t get out into Nature, let Nature come to you! Hickory Knolls’ traveling naturalists bring slides, artifacts and other hands-on items to engage your group in interactive learning at your location.
Fee: $75 per program
Choose from a variety of topics!
Intro to Citizen Science
Have you wanted to get involved with your community, but are not sure how? Discover how to be involved through the use of citizen science. Learn how to become a casual citizen scientist and the types of citizen science programs available. All data collected through these citizen science applications helps scientists and conservationists understand what is happening in our community!
Pollinator Gardens and Monitoring (late winter/early spring)
The new “buzz” word in town is pollinator gardens. But what are pollinator gardens and what do they do for pollinator conservation? Discover the basics of pollinator gardens, including size, types of plants, and how to get started. These gardens can even become a certified monarch waystation or wildlife habitat and be part of larger pollinator monitoring citizen science program!
Invasive plant ID
Invasive plants are everywhere, but some are worse than others. Learn how to identify the most common invasive plants in our area, how they got there, what they do to native flora and fauna, and how you can control them. Restoration of natural areas involves the constant tackling of the invasive plant threat. The knowledge gained from this hour long program will give you the resources needed to be an active member in the restoration of our natural areas.
Where is the Prairie in the Prairie State?
Well, where is it? Through this presentation, we will strap on our virtual hiking boots, take a “hike” through Illinois and discover what prairie is, where it was and currently is located, and the reasons behind its removal from our landscape. The consequences of the removal are still seen today and we will talk about how the prairie flora and fauna of Illinois are coping with the loss of this habitat. In addition, you will learn just how important prairie is to our everyday lives and why it isn’t just a bunch of weeds!
Mammal and Bird ID
What’s that? What’s this? There are an endless amount of birds and mammals all around us and it is hard to keep track. Become more than just a casual observer and discover the methods of identification using the key characteristics of the species in our area. By the end of the program, you’ll be the one answering the questions!
The Witness Tree
In the early 1800s federal surveyors mapped the vast Northwest Territory, which included what is today the state of Illinois. This work has left us with our modern system of townships and legal descriptions of property. Through their notebooks, these surveyors also gave us a glimpse of the natural resources of the region prior to settlement, farming and the growth of towns and cities. Learn the history of the survey and how the work of surveyors is helping us restore natural habitats today.
Sounds of Summer
As temperatures rise the songs of birds give way to the clicks, chirps and whirrs of summer’s songsters, the cicadas, crickets and katydids. But these choristers provide more than just background music. They’re a vital link in the chains that sustain our local ecosystems. This presentation surrounds the audience in sound. How many songs will you recognize?
Mysteries of Monarchs
Monarch butterflies are one of our area’s most iconic insects. We recognize their adult form and many of us know their caterpillars too. Yet their life cycle is shrouded in mystery. How does an insect navigate from the eastern United States to the mountains of Mexico? We’ll tackle this and other enigmas in this engaging one-hour presentation.
Can I Ask You Something?
Experience life through the eyes—and ears–of a park district naturalist, seeing and hearing the sorts of questions that arise as he or she goes about the day. Blurry photos, grainy video and voicemails imitating animal sounds are all part of the fun during this entertaining and informative program.
A Tale of Two Oaks
The savanna behind Hickory Knolls has gone through several transformations over the last 200 years. From natural area to lawn to parking lot, then back to nature, this thriving eco-community has many stories to tell. Join us on a visual tour of its most recent makeover and see for yourself the positive changes that come from oak savanna restoration.