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MCCD plans explorations for kids, families

CRYSTAL LAKE – The McHenry County Conservation District plans a series of fall investigation programs for children.

• White-tail Trail: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 6 at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Participants will take an evening hike in search of the white-tail deer. Along the way, they will learn facts about these creatures while looking for their tracks, trails and other signs. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. The program is for adults and families. The registration deadline is Saturday.

• Creek Peek: 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 8 at Keystone Road Landing in Glacial Park, 6500 Keystone Road, Wonder Lake. Participants should wear shoes they can wade in and come explore the amazing underwater world of Nippersink Creek. Participants will look for little critters and learn why they are so important to the creek. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for adults and families ages 5 and up. The registration deadline is Monday.

• Animal Olympics: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 8 at Hickory Grove Highlands Conservation Area, 500 Hickory Nut Grove Lane, Cary. Participants can see how well they would do in an Olympics if they were competing against wildlife. Meet at Grove No. 2. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for youths ages 6 to 12. The registration deadline is Monday.

• Flying Squirrel Night Hike: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Do flying squirrels actually fly? What do they eat and where do they live? Find the answers to these questions and much more as participants explore the outdoors at night in search of the elusive flying squirrels. Note: There are no guarantees that participants will see any. No flashlights, please. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for youths ages 6 to 12. The registration deadline is Sept. 9.

• Totally Toads: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock. Toads and frogs are closely related, but toads are not the same as frogs. Toads have warty and dry skin, but they don’t give people warts. Learn all about toads and learn the difference between fact and fiction. Participants should dress for the weather, wear long pants and long sleeves. They also should bring a pair of old gloves. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for youths ages 7 to 12, accompanied by an adult. The registration deadline is Sept. 10.

• Prairie Prowl: 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at Kettle Lot – Glacial Park Conservation Area, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Participants will take a prairie adventure as they hike off-trail. A game will help teach about the history and importance of prairie habitats. Participants also will collect seeds to ensure the prairie’s future restoration and survival. Long pants and sturdy walking shoes are essential. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for youths ages 8 to 13. The registration deadline is Sept. 10.

• Trees are Our Treasures: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at Coral Woods Conservation Area, 7400 Somerset Drive, Marengo. Participants will learn about local trees as they hike along and meet different species that call McHenry County home. They will explore why trees are important to everyday lives, calculate their dollar value and turn up other reasons why they should treasure trees. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for those ages 8 to 12, accompanied by an adult. The registration deadline is Sept. 11.

• Fabulous Feathers: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Feathers are the most prominent and distinctive part of a bird. But feathers are more than just decoration. Every bird has many different kinds of feathers. Some are for protection, some provide warmth, some enable flight, and some are just for showing off. Participants will learn more about the properties and purposes of these unique structures through hands-on activities. Each participant will bring home a special feather of their own. The program is free for county residents and $5 nonresidents. It is for youths ages 7 to 10. The registration deadline is Sept. 16.

For information, visit www.mccdistrict.org. 

Registration is accepted online, by phone at 815-479-5779, mail or walk-in at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road in Crystal Lake.

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