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Local

MCCD programs help visitors discover nature

Walkers on several hikes guided by McHenry County Conservation District staff will be on the lookout for birds and other signs of spring.

• Woodland Birds: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, Marengo Ridge Conservation Area, 2411 N. Route 23, Marengo. Hike more than two miles through the woods in search of the sounds and sights of newly returned and migrating birds. Participants need to be 14 years and older and should bring binoculars and field guides if they have them. Trails will be uneven and may be muddy. The program is free for county residents and $2 for non-residents. The deadline to register is May 4.

• Discovery Days: 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, May 8, at Lake in the Hills Fen Conservation Area, 1500 Jefferson Street, Lake in the Hills. Two- to six-year-olds accompanied by an adult will enjoy a game, craft, snack and educational activities all based around the special theme of the day. Participants should dress for the weather. The program is free for county residents and $3 for non-residents. The deadline to register is May 5.

• Stories for a Spring Evening: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 9, at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. The McHenry County Conservation District and the McHenry County Storytelling Guild host a family friendly evening of tales and legends. The show will move inside if it rains. The program is free for county residents and $5 for non-residents. The deadline to register is May 6.

• Birding Blitz: 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at Kettle Lot in Glacial Park Conservation Area, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Participants will undertake some serious birding on a careful but steady 2 to 3 mile hike followed by refreshments at the Powers-Walker House. This event is for those 14 and up, and attendees should bring binoculars and field guides if they have them. The program is free for county residents and $2 for non-residents. The deadline to register is May 7.

• Song of Spring: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock. Children five- to nine-years-old accompanied by an adult will hear “Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name?” an Oneida song of spring by Sandrea De Coteau Orie. The story tells of the seasonal change as winter wanes and spring begins anew, and participants will spend time outside searching for signs of this seasonal change. The program is free for county residents and $3 for non-residents. The deadline to register is May 7.

For more information or to register, go to McHenry County Conservation District's website, www.MCCDistrict.org

Registration also is available by mail and walk-in at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road in Crystal Lake; walk-in only at Lost Valley Visitor Center, Route 31 and Harts Road in Ringwood; or by phone for free programs only at 815-479-5779.

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