Head to the preserves for some food truck fun this summer as “Food Truck Fridays” returns to the Forest Preserve District of Will County. Other June programs focus on Father’s Day, fishing, endangered species and kayaking. Online registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the program lineup:
Food Truck Fridays: 5-7:30 p.m. Fridays, June through August, at four Forest Preserve District locations on a rotating basis. Food trucks will be serving up their favorite fare for you to enjoy along with forest preserve views and amenities. The schedule is: Hammel Woods – Crumby Recreation Area, Shorewood, first Friday of each month; Hickory Creek – LaPorte Road Access, Mokena, second Friday; Whalon Lake, Naperville, third Friday; and Messenger Marsh, Homer Glen, fourth Friday. The pandemic affected truck scheduling, so check ahead on the District’s Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org to see each Friday’s food lineup. Registration is not required.
Father’s Day Weekend: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, June 19, and Sunday, June 20, Monee Reservoir Visitor Center, Monee Township. Free, all ages. Dad, this weekend is for you! Celebrate your day at the Forest Preserve District’s Monee Reservoir with a free container of bait for Dad! Registration is not required.
Father’s Day Weekend: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 19, and Sunday, June 20, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Celebrate Father’s Day at the Forest Preserve District’s Plum Creek Nature Center by trying to successfully complete the dad-kid challenge to score Dad a free prize. Registration is not required.
A Hike for Dad: 9:30-11 a.m. Sunday, June 20, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Free, all ages. Instead of giving Dad another tie, gift him your time out on the trails. Witness some of nature’s most interesting fathers along the riverbanks and beyond. Participants in this Forest Preserve District program will hike 2 miles rain or shine, so please dress for the weather. Register online by Friday, June 18, or call 815-722-9470.
Free Fishing Days: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, June 18-June 20, Monee Reservoir Visitor Center, Monee Township. Free, all ages. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring free fishing days to encourage a love of fishing. One weekend in June is set aside each year so people can sample the action without having to invest in a fishing license. And the Forest Preserve District has added daily incentives. On Friday, receive a voucher good for a free one-hour boat rental (excludes pedal boats). On Saturday, receive a box of night crawlers, and on Sunday, receive one free fishing pole rental. Regular rules and regulations apply on rentals and fishing limits. Registration is not required.
Fishing Will County Preserves (Zoom Webinar): noon-1 p.m. Friday, June 18, online. Free, ages 10 or older.
Have you ever wondered where the best preserves are to go fishing or what kind of fish you can catch in this area? Join a naturalist for this live Zoom program to find fishing hot spots and learn about common sport fish of Will County. Register for the Zoom link.
Pride in Nature Campfire and Hike: 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 18, Hickory Creek Preserve – Cleveland Road, Mokena. Free, all ages. Join a Forest Preserve District naturalist for a hike that explores nature’s diversity, and then enjoy a campfire with s’mores. If you have a favorite instrument, bring it so we can jam and tell stories by the fire. Register online by Friday, June 18, or call 708-534-8499.
Finding Art in Nature – Outdoor Art Badge Program: 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 18, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Free; this program is for Junior Girl Scouts.
Junior Girl Scouts are invited to come on a guided badge hike with a naturalist and explore nature and the art it inspires. They will view the “Inspired by Endangered Species: Animals and Plants in Fabric Perspectives” quilt exhibit, and then head out into the preserve to find and create art. Registration is available by phone only for this program; call 815-722-9470.
Leaves of Three Hike: 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 19, Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access, Shorewood. Free, all ages.
A Forest Preserve District naturalist will teach you new tricks to help distinguish between many of our three-leaved spring wildflowers and the infamous ivy. Meet at the trailhead next to the dog park. Register online by Thursday, June 17, or call 815-722-9470.
Kayak Kollege: Two-hour sessions at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, June 19, Monee Reservoir, Monee Township. Ages 10 or older, $35 per person. This workshop, led by American Canoe Association certified instructors, introduces participants to the sport of kayaking on flat water. No previous experience is required. Register online by Saturday, June 19, or call 708-534-8499.
Endangered Species Quest: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 19, through Sunday, July 25, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Free, all ages. Learn about the endangered animals that need our help in Illinois. Start at the Forest Preserve District’s Plum Creek Nature Center to grab a quest card, and then hit the trail to do your best to find all the animals. Come back to tell us your favorite endangered species to earn a prize. While you are visiting, check out the “Inspired by Endangered Species: Animals and Plants in Fabric Perspectives” quilt exhibit inside the nature center. Registration is not required.
Kayak Kollege for Beginners: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 19, Lake Chaminwood Preserve, Troy Township. Ages 12 or older, $35 per person. This beginner’s workshop, led by certified instructors, introduces participants to the sport of kayaking. Basic instruction and safety are covered on shore, and then participants will head to the water to try out new skills. Register online by Friday, June 18,, or call 815-722-9470.