OAKtober Programs for all-ages

The weather this week definitely feels like summer is over and fall is just beginning. This year, we have “OAK”tober programs for all-ages to celebrate Oak Awareness month in Illinois.

Oaks are a symbol of strength and resiliency. They help clean our air and reduce our energy use by shading buildings. They also help to reduce flooding and provide food and shelter for wildlife. It’s no surprise that the Illinois State Tree is the White Oak! Come celebrate the oaks and learn what you can do to support them in your community at our upcoming programs.

Welcome Autumn — Celebrate the arrival of autumn on this fun and informative hike. Find out the meaning of “equinox” and learn about the changes trees, including oaks, go through at this time of year. We’ll also discuss how local animals are preparing for the chilly temperatures ahead.

Tuesday, Sept. 22; 2:30-3:30 p.m. at Creek Bend Nature Center; 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles; FREE

Tree Seeds Hike — Savor this Saturday in autumn to search out seeds in preparation for OAKtober! We’ll discuss different types of tree seeds, their unique adaptations and the plants from which specific seeds arise.

Saturday, Sept. 26; 10-11 a.m. at Burnidge Forest Preserve; 14N035 Coombs Rd., Elgin; FREE

Acorn-to-Oaks Planting Workshop — The mightiest oaks start with a little acorn! Learn about our different native oak species and take a hike around LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve to observe the unique characteristics of a variety of trees, including several oaks. Complete your experience by decorating a pot and planting your own oak tree to take home.

Sunday, Oct. 18; 10-11 a.m. at Creek Bend Nature Center; 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles; FREE

Witness Trees — Join us for a virtual program! Have you ever looked at a giant of a tree, perhaps a big oak, and wondered what historical events it experienced during its lifetime? Some of these impressive trees are called “witness trees” and they have a special place in the history of Illinois. Surveyors in the early 1800s relied on witness, or “bearing,” trees as landmarks for creating the earliest state land surveys and plat mats. During this webinar, we’ll share the history of Illinois’ witness trees and provide tools for you to discover witness trees in your own area.

Thursday, Nov. 19; 10-10:45 a.m. via Zoom Meeting; To register: https://kaneforest.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqc–rrDMjGdwLM7pc9QM-Rg7pWtJdPR6P

Nature’s Bounty — Autumn isn’t harvest time for just us humans. Our woodlands provide crucial sustenance for local wildlife just before the harsh winter hits. This informative hike will examine the fruits, nuts and other food sources animals find within our forest preserves.

Thursday, Nov. 19; 2:30-3:30 p.m. at Burnidge Forest Preserve; 38W235 Big Timber Rd., Elgin; FREE

To register for these programs, or for more information, call 630-444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com.

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