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MCCD offers programs for March

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Conservation District will offer a variety of programs to get families outside this month.

• Century Hikers: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Local longtime Sierra Club National Outings leader Paul Minkus will share some of his hiking experiences, discuss the Outings Program, and highlight the joy of llama packing adventures in the Rocky Mountains. He will share his story, experiences and pictures. The program is free for county residents and costs $6 for nonresidents. It is for adults 14 years and older. The registration deadline is Thursday.

• Senior Explorations: 9:30 to 11 a.m. March 13 at Lyons Prairie and Marsh Conservation Area, 7000 Hickory Nut Grove Road, Cary. Participants will explore at a relaxed and leisurely pace as they walk and witness what is happening in the prairie, woodlands and wetlands during early spring. Participants should dress for the weather and bring binoculars if they have them. The program is free for county residents and costs $2 for nonresidents. It is for adults and those 14 years and older. The registration deadline is Friday.

• Native and Natural Landscaping: 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 14 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Participants will learn how using native plants around the home is better for the environment. Members of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee will share information about their “Native Garden in Your Yard” program. Applications will be available for the 2013 mentor matchup. The program is free for county residents and costs $6 for nonresidents. It is for adults and those 14 years and older. The registration deadline is Saturday.

• Springing Back to Life: 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 15 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. March is a time when a sleepy natural world experiences a great awakening. Participants will learn how animals are able to perform amazing feats of survival. The program is free for county residents and costs $2 for nonresidents. It is for children ages 6 to 10, accompanied by an adult. The registration deadline is Sunday.

• Changing Winds: 1 to 2:30 p.m. March 16 at Living Land Farm, 716 E. Crystal Lake Road, Cary. Participants will learn more about the role of wind in nature and experience the wind with kites or windsocks. The program is free for county residents and costs $5 for nonresidents. It is for adults and children ages 8 and up. The registration deadline is Monday.

• Searching for Sandhills: 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 16 at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Sandhill cranes will be on their migration back from the Gulf of Mexico. During an indoor presentation, participants will hear more about these magnificent birds. Afterward, they will carpool to the marsh to try to catch a glimpse of them. Participants should dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. The program is free for county residents and $6 for nonresidents. It is for adults and those 14 years and older. The registration deadline is Monday.

• Spring’s Treasures: 4:30 to 6 p.m. March 23 at Stickney Run Conservation Area, 3216 West State Park Road, McHenry. Participants will take a hike to search for the treasures of this special season. They should dress for the weather and exploration. The program is free for county residents and costs $2 for nonresidents. It is for adults and children ages 7 and up. The registration deadline is March 18.

• Nature’s Preschool: 10 a.m. to noon Fridays, March 22 and 29, April 5 and 12 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Each day of this four-class series, children will spend time learning about nature, exploring the outdoors as the weather permits, sharing a snack and more. Children must be 3 years old by the start of the program (birthdates before Sept. 22, 2009) and must be toilet-trained. A healthy snack will be provided, but children should bring a water bottle and dress for the weather. Children are expected to attend all four sessions of this program. The program is free for county residents and costs $5 for nonresidents. It is for children ages 3 and 4. The registration deadline is March 17.

• Sustainability 101: Rain Barrels in your Backyard: 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 22 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Rain barrels are an easy and cost-effective way to conserve water in one’s backyard. Local supplier Tom’s Rain Barrels will talk about choices, materials, installation and practical use of a rain barrel. Participants also can find out where to locally buy a rain barrel. The program is free for county residents and costs $6 for nonresidents. It is for adults and those 14 years and older. The registration deadline is March 17.

• Welcome Home, Cranes: 1 to 3 p.m. March 23 at Lyons Prairie and Marsh Conservation Area, 500 Hickory Nut Grove Lane, Cary. Participants will welcome the sandhill cranes as they arrive this spring. Find out about their journey north from warmer climes and discover more about their life habits and why they choose McHenry County as a place to nest and raise their young. The program is free for county residents and costs $2 for nonresidents. It is for adults and families ages 8 and up. The registration deadline is March 18.

• Campfire Baking: Dutch Oven Breads: 1 to 4 p.m. March 23 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Participants will learn techniques and put their knowledge to the test by cooking over a fire. Hands-on cooking taught by an experienced dutch oven cook. The program costs $5 for county residents and $6.25 for nonresidents. It is for adults and families ages 10 and up. The registration deadline is March 18.

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

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