Nature's Book Nook

Many of these books can be found on PrairieCat; many are available for as little as 1 cent or 99 cents from booksellers on Amazon (with $3.99 for postage and handling).

For Kids:

A Little Bit of Dirt: 55 Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature
Asia Citro

Summer fun for kids of all ages. Run an experiment with backyard birds – make acrylic sun prints with leaves and flowers, concoct nature potions.

For kindergarten to grade 2:

I’ll Follow the Moon
Stephanie Tara

A classic, celebrating its 10th year journey of a baby turtle from hatching to sea. Beautiful watercolors.

For 5- to 8-year-olds:

A Monarch Butterfly’s Life
John Himmelman

Realistic color paintings: gives a bug’s view of the monarch and its migration with a story of one butterfly’s migration interrupted by a child who catches and releases him with a net.

For Adults:

Stories from the Leopold Shack: Sand County Almanac Revisited

Estella Leopold, the youngest daughter of Aldo Leopold, reflects on her family’s love for “the shack” and for everything in the natural world

Get Linked In

Children, Nature and You Resources to help you give the children you influence the awe and wonder that only the natural world can inspire

Freeport Park District Information on all the Freeport parks

Freeport Public Library More than books on a shelf...visit the Freeport Public Library

Freeport/Stephenson County Convention and Visitors Bureau Events located in Stephenson County, IL

Getting Kids Involved (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology) Includes bird information, tips, and more for kids and families

The Great Backyard Bird Count for Kids Sponsored by the Audubon Society and other partners

Jane Addams Recreation Trail Ride or Hike the beautiful Jane Addams Trail

Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots A program of the Jane Goodall Institute offering a variety of programs and resources

National Audubon website Use “Get Outside” and “Family Time” prompts

National Wildlife Federation Many family-friendly articles; Ranger Rick family magazine

Paddle the Pecatonica River Water Trail Enjoy Illinois’ “Friendliest Paddle” on the Pecatonica River

Resource Guide Supplement to Last Child in the Woods Designed for parents, teachers, and community leaders to help them encourage children’s enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Severson Dells Nature Center Located near Rockford, IL.

Sierra Club Outdoors The program's goal is to give every child in America an outdoor experience.

Kids and Families
June/July 2017
Beginning Birder  |  Get Linked In

It’s Here!!! The Annual Elkhorn Creek Butterfly Festival Is Back!

Saturday, July 29th, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Join us for a fun, informative family-friendly afternoon as we explore the Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve for the many butterflies that are found there. From 1-5 p.m., participants may join guided butterfly tours or look on their own for those winged beauties. “Illinois Butterflies and Moths” pocket guides will be distributed at no charge while supplies last…they go fast!

We’ll have a shady rest area as well as a restroom, cold beverages, snacks and information about pollinators. If weather is questionable, call Mary Blackmore at 815-938-3204 before 10:00 a.m. on July 29th. For more information, check out the front page of our newsletter.

Annual Elkhorn Creek Butterfly Festival

Audubon in the Library

Wildlife Wednesdays, 10:30 — 11:00 a.m. at the Freeport Library

Appropriate audience is two– to seven-year-olds

An Audubon member hosts this monthly series at the Freeport Public Library. During the program, there is a special story time followed by an activity related to a theme. Specimens are often included! The library’s summer theme is “Reading by Design” and focuses on architecture and engineering, so Juliet Moderow will discuss animal houses and cities!

  • June 14: Animal Homes I: Hives, Galls, Mounds, Shells and Webs!
  • July 5: Animal Homes II: Nests, Lodges, Burrows, Dens and Holes!

Animal Homes

Wednesday Morning Movie Series at the Lindo Theatre

115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport

Ice Age: Collision Course

Animated, PG, 1 hr. 40 min.

Ice Age: Collision Course

June 21st; Doors open at 9 a.m. Film starts at 10 a.m. Admission is $1.00.
Every Wednesday this summer (June 7 – August 9), the Lindo Theatre is offering $1 movies. Audubon will be there on June 21st! Juliet Moderow will be there to greet the incoming children, play games, share information about our activities for the upcoming year. There will be a movie mascot and giveaways as well.

Beginning Birder

Eastern Whip-poor-will
Antrostomus vociferous

Eastern Whip-poor-will These birds have been made famous in songs and poems for their endless chanting on summer nights. Eastern Whip-poor-wills are easy to hear but hard to see. Their feathers blend in perfectly with the gray-brown leaf litter of the open forests where they like to hang out. At dawn and dusk, and on nights with a good moon, they fly out to sweep up insects in their cavernous (look this word up) mouths.

Cool Facts*

  • They lays eggs in phase with the lunar cycle, so that they hatch on average 10 days before a full moon. When the moon is near full, the adults can hunt the entire night for large amounts of insects to feed the young birds in the nest.
  • They feed on insects, including moths, scarab beetles, long-horned grasshoppers, tiger moths, ants, bees, wasps, fireflies, and weevils.
  • They start looking for insects 30 minutes after sunset and continue until it gets too dark to see the prey. When the moon is bright enough they might hunt all night long.
  • Their enormous mouths allow them to swallow insects up to two inches long.
  • They might look through rotten logs to look for ants, caterpillars, worms and other insects.
  • The female will lay her eggs right on the leaves on the forest floor but they blend in very well with the leaves.
  • They have loud, distinctive voices…and might try the patience of someone trying to sleep.

* Information adapted from Cornell Lab of Ornithology site All About Birds.

Family Activity

Adapted from 11 Fun Ideas for Exploring Nature with Kids by Jennifer Johnson

With simple hand lenses, explore in minute detail such wonders of nature as the hairs on leaves or the intricacies of flower parts.

Match nature’s colors: Put crayon, marker or colored pencil color markings on index cards and match with findings in nature. How many shades of green and brown can you find? Can you find all colors of the rainbow?

Calendar

News
and Events

Check out our full calendar of activities, events, and educational opportunities. You're sure to find something to interest you. Please join us!

Events include:

  • Monthly educational programs and issues discussions
  • Local bird walks
  • Field trips
  • Preserve work days

For more details, see the current newsletter.

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Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, to Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017
Annual Bird Seed Sale... >

Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017
Campfire at Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve... >

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017
Wildlife Wednesdays: Wolves and Other Wild Dogs... >

Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017
Oakdale Nature Preserve: Family Nature Fall Hike... >