DEKALB — University of Illinois Extension, in partnership with the DeKalb County Forest Preserve, will be starting their Wee Naturalist program on Saturday, Oct. 6 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 2016 Douglas and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation Grant.
An Extension Certified Master Naturalist volunteer applied and received the grant on behalf of the forest preserve making the program possible and able to continue to serve the children of DeKalb County.
The program is for children ages 5 and 6 years old, along with a parent or guardian, and will start at 10:30 a.m. Wee Nats will be offered the first Saturday of each month from October through May. It will last approximately one hour and each month will have a different nature theme. Each month the program will include a lesson, story, craft, and a hike. The cost is $5 per child and there will be a 15 student limit.
October’s program will be all about nature’s patterns. The story will talk about spirals, which are the most common pattern in nature. The craft will focus on sorting and making our own patterns while our hike will be a hunt for patterns on the nature trail.
“I am so excited to see our littlest naturalists learning about our environment and I hope to guide them to always stay interested in the outdoors and all the wonders it offers,” Peggy Doty, extension educator, said.
To register your Wee Naturalist go to the Extension website, web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo and look for the section titled “Register Online” and 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.