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MCCD offering family activities for springtime

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

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

• Conservation Egg Hunt: 2 to 3 p.m. March 24 at Exner Marsh Conservation Area, Lakewood and Miller roads, Lake in the Hills. A short hike leads kids to bird habitats, where they search for “eggs” of local birds. Everyone finds “eggs” and everyone gets a prize. Program fees cover the purchase of prizes and refreshments.

The registration deadline is Sunday. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this date. The cost is $4 for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for children ages infant to 13, accompanied by an adult.

• Woodpecker Wonders: 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 29 at Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock. Using binoculars, participants will explore the savannas in search of these amazing birds and investigate their food, homes and adaptations. Participants should dress for the weather.

The program is free for county residents and costs $5 for nonresidents. It is for children ages 6 to 12. The registration deadline is March 26.

• Animal Guess Who? 1 to 2:30 p.m. April 6 at Hickory Grove Highlands Conservation Area, 500 Hickory Nut Grove Lane, Cary. Participants will go on a scavenger hunt for hidden clue cards and work together to determine which animals the clues are describing. After all of the clue cards have been found, there will be a hike in search of these critters. Participants should dress for the weather.

The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. It is for children ages 6 to 12. The registration deadline is April 1.

• Nature Play Open House: 10 a.m. to noon April 10 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Parents and tots are invited to experience the fun and learning available at Prairieview Education Center. Participants will play with nature puzzles, games, puppets and more. There will be a guided hike at 11 a.m. A craft table will be set up throughout the program. Participants should dress for the weather. The program is free for county residents and costs $3 for nonresidents. It is for children ages infant to 5, accompanied by an adult.

The registration deadline is April 5.

• Night Fire: 7 to 9 p.m. April 12 at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. MCCD staff will demonstrate a prescribed prairie and savanna burn at night. The evening begins indoors for a discussion on the benefits of fire to ecosystems and how the district goes about the business of burning. It will finish outdoors, watching the fire. Participants should dress for the weather and a short hike.

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 April 7.

• Watch Out for Waterfowl: 8 to 10:30 a.m. April 13 at Glacial Park Conservation Area, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. New and experienced birders can enjoy a spring walk in Glacial Park. They will search for migrating waterfowl and other birds in and around Lost Valley Marsh, then return to the Lost Valley Visitor Center to compare notes and share refreshments. Participants should bring binoculars and field guides if they have them.

The program is free for county residents and $2 for nonresidents. It is for adults and those 14 years and older. The registration deadline is April 8.

• Family Scavenger Hunt: 10 a.m. to noon April 13 at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Participants will check in at the Lost Valley Visitor Center for their instructions and then explore the site for answers to the scavenger hunt questions. They will bring their completed worksheets back to the visitor center for a prize. The event for adults and families is free. The registration deadline is April 8.

• Nature’s Wild Garden: 1 to 2:30 p.m. April 13 at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Participants will share a story about the ways that wind, water, birds and animals help plant nature’s garden. Using games and a hike, participants will explore the outdoors for examples of nature’s seed dispersal. They should dress for the weather and a hike.

The program is free for county residents and costs $3 for nonresidents. It is for children ages 5 to 9, accompanied by an adult. The registration deadline is April 8.

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

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