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Plum Creek Nature Center Youth Group Programs

The Forest Preserve District of Will County offers many different youth group programs at Plum Creek Nature Center. Call 708.946.2216 for more information or to book a youth group program.

Frogs, Snakes, Turtles!

The word ‘herpeto’ is ancient Greek for things that creep and crawl. Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians. This program will introduce your group to the amazing herps that live in Illinois and around the world. Sign up for this fascinating program, learn fun facts, and see reptile skins and skeletons. If time permits, we will take a hike on uneven natural terrain to see Goodenow Grove’s own reptiles and amphibians.
Badge correlations: BSA – Reptile & Amphibian Study
Ages: 5-15
Time: 1 hour

Owl Prowl

Did you know there are at least seven different types of owls that can be seen in Will County? Bring your group to this program and learn about Illinois owl species, their natural history and their amazing specialized adaptations. Listen to intriguing owl stories from various cultures and participate in an “owl prowl” by listening for the call of the resident owls of Goodenow Grove. This program takes place on natural trails over uneven terrain.

Please note that the recommended start time for this program is approximately one hour before sunset; start times will vary. 
Ages: 5-15    
Time: 1 hour

Wild Wonders Hike

Explore the hidden wonders of our woods with a naturalist. Search for frogs at the pond, listen for bird songs and follow animal tracks through the prairie. Your senses will be heightened during this hands-on hike. This program takes place on natural trails over uneven terrain.
Badge correlations: BSA Webeloes – Naturalist and Forester
Ages: 7-15
Time: 1 hour

Snowshoe Safari

Enjoy a winter walk, exploring the natural wonders of the season. Activity topics include animal signs and tracking, winter wildlife adaptations, snow effects, and trees in winter. Weather permitting, outdoor exploration is done on snowshoes (provided). Wear warm outerwear and be prepared to hike off-trail in snowy conditions.
Fees: $25/program for non-profit groups
$50/program for for-profit groups
Ages: 7-18
Time: 2 hours

Badge Program

Calling all troops! Just for you–a program to help fulfill select scout badge requirements. Working with a District interpreter, scout leaders plan and receive a program to help satisfy badge requirements, utilizing Forest Preserve resources such as: staff expertise, cultural artifacts, education equipment and, of course, the preserves themselves. Due to BSA and GSA administration, time requirements and site limitations, no program will meet badge requirements in full. Fee is $40 per interpreter, per hour. Program and time limits apply. Scheduling is subject to staff availability.
Ages: 5-18
Time: 2 hours

Discovery Program

Our experienced interpretive staff will work with group leaders to design a program to meet your group’s needs. Content must be on natural and cultural history subject areas that keep with the Forest Preserve District’s mission. Fee is $40 per interpreter, per hour. Scheduling is subject to staff availability.
Ages: 5-18
Time: 2 hours


Plum Creek Nature Center is located at 27064 S. Dutton Road, north of Goodenow Road, in Crete Township near Beecher.

Come play!

Scouts, church groups, 4-H and other organized youth groups are encouraged to get outside and enjoy these group based opportunities.

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