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Forest Preserve District Unveils 2019 Lineup of Special Events

Photo for: Forest Preserve District Unveils 2019 Lineup of Special Events

Photo by Chad Merda

2019 will be a year filled with a wide variety of exciting recreational, educational and artistic offerings from the Forest Preserve District.

Here is an overview of what’s to come:

Snow Day Festival: Saturday, January 19, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Meet mushers and their sled dogs, enjoy ice sculpting demonstrations, and many family-friendly winter activities including sledding, snowshoeing and winter-themed movies.


Frida Kahlo’s Garden: January 29-March 16, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is considered to be one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. The exhibition will feature photos of Kahlo and her home and garden in Mexico, reproductions of several of her paintings, plants, clothing and folk art. Four Rivers will be this exhibit’s second stop on its five-year tour of the United States. This exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. "Frida Kahlo’s Garden" is adapted from the exhibition, “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life,” organized by guest curator Adriana Zavala at the New York Botanical Garden. The exhibition was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by the Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Vernal Equinox: Spring Awakens – Juried Art Competition: March 12-31, Plum Creek Nature Center. Artists will be asked to submit nature-related artwork inspired by the theme “Spring Awakens.” The artwork will be on display and public voting will take place in March.

H2-WHOA!: April 2-June 30, Plum Creek Nature Center. Learn what lies below the surface of local water resources. Hands-on activities focus on water quality, pollution, sediment and water conservation. The exhibit was created by the Purdue University Agriculture Exhibit Design Center.

Preserve the Moment Photo Contest: May 1-December 31, throughout Will County forest preserves. Photos have to be taken during the contest time period, and winners are chosen each month to compete for overall honors – and prizes – via online voting after the contest concludes. Rules and details will appear online May 1.

Island Rendezvous: Saturday, June 8, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. This rendezvous-themed family event includes kids activities, a replica Native American longhouse, a petting zoo, birds of prey, a Blanding’s turtle exhibit and a food truck.

Arts & Nature on the River: Saturday, June 15, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Experience art, music and nature while strolling paved preserve trails. Explore ongoing performances, demonstrations, activities and exhibits.

Hummingbird Festival & Nature Celebration: Saturday, August 17, Plum Creek Nature Center. Learn about pollinators and watch as members of the Thorn Creek Audubon Society capture and band hummingbirds. Other activities include guided tree climbing, bike rentals, slacklining and live music.


What’s Bugging Belva?: September 1-November 30, Plum Creek Nature Center. Belva the bug literally jumps off the pages of a book and into three gardens that include models and information on the insects being explored. The traveling, interactive exhibit is from the Purdue University Agriculture Exhibit Design Center.

Only Owls Exhibition: Fall 2019 (dates to be determined), Isle a la Cache Museum. The exhibition brings together 40 artworks in pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor and woodcut drawn from the Leigh Yahkey Woodson Art Museum’s collection in Wausau, Wisconsin.


Food Truck Fridays: June-August, one Friday each month at Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access in Shorewood, Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access in Mokena, Whalon Lake in Naperville and Messenger Marsh in Homer Glen. Sample an eclectic lineup of food truck offerings while soaking in forest preserve views.

Woods Walk: September 1-November 30, various forest preserves. Hike seven of 10 select trails at your own pace to earn a collector’s medal and all 10 to get an additional prize. Trails lengths and terrain are varied.


Stay up to date on upcoming programs by subscribing to The Weekly Five, our weekly email blast to help you plan the upcoming week and beyond.


2019 Camping and Picnicking Permits Go On Sale January 2


For the first time, camping and picnicking permits can be booked online starting January 2.

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‘Frida Kahlo’s Garden’ Exhibition opens January 29 at Four Rivers


The exhibition consists of iconic photos of the artist and her home and garden; reproductions of several of her paintings; and information about native Mexican plants, festivities, food and drink.

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Work to Continue on Old Plank Road Trail


Crews are expected to resume brush cleanup on the trail starting next week and continue the work possibly through Monday, December 31.

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