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Free Outdoor Exploration Program Kicks Off June 10



Photo for: Free Outdoor Exploration Program Kicks Off June 10

Photo by Chris Cheng

The Forest Preserve District has partnered with Crete Park District this year on an eastern Will County Community OPEN program from June 10-15.

OPEN stands for Outside Play Exploring Nature, said Diane Basile, facility supervisor at the Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township, where some of the activities will be based.

“We teamed up on this new program to encourage outside play and the exploration of nature throughout our community,” she said. “We’ve done a good job of educating families and schools about the importance of interacting with nature, but we wanted to take it a step further to encourage businesses and organizations to help get kids and families outside this summer.”

The program includes Beecher, Crete and Monee organizations. 

“We went to different types of local businesses that are involved with families and youth and asked them to offer at least an hour of outdoor play for at least one day,” she explained. 

Families can pick up passports at Plum Creek Nature Center and Crete Park District that list all of the locations and the 16 programs featured in Community OPEN. Attend a program and get your passport stamped. Passports with four or more stamps can be brought back to Plum Crete Nature Center or Crete Park District for prizes.  

Here is the lineup of free programs being offered:

Monday, June 10

  • Afternoon at Camp, 1-3 p.m., Crete Park, 515 First Street, Crete; ages 5-13. Registration required; 708.672.6969 or CretePark.com.

Tuesday, June 11

  • Mini Camp Experience, 10-11 a.m. at Faith Church, 201 E. Church Road, Beecher, all ages; 708.946.2545.
  • Boom Whackers Music in the Park, 6-7 p.m., Crete Park.
  • Create a Small Bird House from Recycled Materials, noon, Beecher Manor Nursing Home, 1201 Dixie Highway, Beecher. RSVP to Caitlin Ryder; 708.946.2600. 

Wednesday, June 12

  • Nature Play Day, 10-11:30 a.m., Forest Preserve District’s Plum Creek Nature Center, 27064 S. Dutton Road, Crete Township; ages 3-5 with an adult. 
  • Experiment with Rockets, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Crete Library, 1177 N. Main Street. Registration is required; 708.672.8017. 
  • Play Gag Ball with the Crete Cub Scouts, 4-6 p.m., Crete Park. 

Thursday, June 13

  • Football/Kickball with Crete Police, 1-2 p.m., Heritage Park, 1550 Sangamon Street, Crete; ages 5 and older. 

Friday, June 14

  • Take Me Fishing, 6 a.m.-7 p.m., Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Monee Reservoir, 27341 Ridgeland Avenue, Monee Township; all ages. 
  • LEGO Gone Wild, 1-3 p.m., Plum Creek Nature Center, ages 6 and older. Registration required;  ReconnectWithNature.org or 708.946.2216.
  • Spot’s Clubhouse Scavenger Hunt, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Plum Creek Nature Center; all ages. 
  • Crete Bubble Fun, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Crete Park. 
  • Hot Dogs and Hamburgers with the Crete Fire Department, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Crete Park.
  • “Princess and the Frog” Movie in the Park, 9 p.m., Crete Park. 

Saturday, June 15

  • Take Me Fishing, 6 a.m.-7 p.m., Monee Reservoir, all ages. 
  • Fire Extinguisher Demonstration and More, 9 a.m., Beecher Fireman's Park, all ages. 

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