Embrace winter's beauty through outdoor exploration and indoor inspiration at Atwood Environmental Center. Winter Trails & Naturalist Tales includes two "naturalist tales" keynote speakers, a "winter trails" outdoor guided hike, and lunch. This year’s event will focus on winter raptors in Illinois and animal tracking.
The first naturalist tale will focus on winter raptors, eagles, hawks and owls, and all of the possibilities and probabilities they might face during winter migration. Mike Eickman, University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Volunteer and Station Master at Sand Bluff Bird Observatory, will discuss their habits, habitats and how these raptors hunt for food, and teach how to identify our winter residents and visitors.
The second naturalist tale will be all about tracking. When you’re out exploring, or just walking in the landscape, do you notice signs and tracks for who’s been there? Peggy Doty, University of Illinois Extension Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator, will talk about tracks and tracking to help you gain a better awareness of who has been in your surroundings and to get you thinking about why they were there.
After lunch, U of I Extension Master Naturalist volunteers will lead you on a fun and educational winter hike through Atwood Park. Use your new tracking skills to look for telltale signs of resident wildlife and practice identifying animal tracks, all while enjoying the serene beauty of the winter trails.
Directions: Atwood Center - 2685 New Milford School Rd., Rockford, IL 61109 - From Bypass 20 take Hwy 251 (11th St.) exit south. Continue on Hwy 251 (11th St.) to New Milford School Rd. Turn left (East) on New Milford School Rd.