The University of Illinois Extension will host its annual Winterfest from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 19 , at the Natural Resource Center in Russell Woods Forest Preserve in DeKalb County. Each year people gather at the Natural Resource Education Center to meet up with friends old and new to share the joys of winter.
“ This is an opportunity to serve our communities with a family-friendly winter event. It is nice to break up the season and with unseasonable temperatures, why not join us?” said Peggy Doty, extension educator. “Winter is a season, not a precipitation, so we will be there whether we have snow or not."
The morning will start at 9 a.m. with an indoor viewing of the bird feeders and a simple birding identification presentation with Doty. Make-and-take crafts will start at 10 a.m. and will be available all day, as well as a story time at 2 p.m. for the children. Candle dipping will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon. Anyone interested in making their own candle is welcome to participate.
A native skills presenter will teach a beginning tracking class at 10 a.m. Be prepared and dressed to go outside. Participants will learn the basics of people and animal tracking in this one-hour session. Phil Neilson of Waterman will be in the park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. giving horse-drawn wagon rides. F rom 11 a.m. to 2 p.m ., Roger Watson will teach children how the pioneers made rope. “Roger is fantastic with children and truly loves to share his rope-making skills,” said Doty.
At both 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. there will be interpretive hikes through the forest. These hikes are geared toward all ages but everyone needs to be dressed for the weather. The winter woodland is full interesting things.
The Prairie Gems 4-H Club will offer snacks and lunch items for reasonable cost. There is room to eat indoors. Come for one activity or come for the day. There is no fee for any activity, but donations are accepted to support the cost of materials.
Russell Woods Forest Preserve is one mile west of Genoa on Route 72. For more information, call 815-784-2000 or go on the web at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo .