DEKALB — University of Illinois Extension, in partnership with the DeKalb County Forest Preserve, will be hosting their Wee Naturalist program on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 10:30 a.m.
The program will take place at the Natural Resource Education Center in Russell Woods Forest Preserve located one mile west of Genoa on state route 72. This partnership is able to continue this program thanks to a Douglas and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation Grant. Extension and the DeKalb County Forest Preserve believe in the benefits of nature for people, especially children, and continue to serve them through nature programming in DeKalb County.
The program is for children ages five and six years old, along with a parent or guardian, and will start at 10:30 a.m. Wee Nats is offered the first Saturday of each month through May. It will last approximately one hour and each month will have a different nature theme.
The program includes a lesson, story, craft, and a hike. The cost is $5 per child and there will be a 15 student limit.
January’s program will study animals who live under the snow. This month’s story will look at the winter animals who do not sleep but live in the secret kingdom under the snow. After doing a winter craft we will take our hike on the Wee Nat trail to look for animal tracks and signs. Peggy Doty, Extension educator, said, “I love to let the children guide the learning on the trail, they see so many things the adults tend to miss.”
To register your Wee Nat go to the Extension website, web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo and look for the section titled “Register Online” then choose Wee Naturalist. When the class has 15 children registered it will close but you can look ahead at all the monthly topics and sign up in advance.
For questions regarding the program, not registration, contact the Natural Resource Education Center at 815-784-2000. For registration questions call the Extension office in DeKalb County at 815-758-8194.