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Celebrate Nature Fiesta- May 19, 2018

WildOnes4-6Nature Fiesta, Saturday, May 19 from 11:00 until 3:00, is Winnebago County’s only bilingual Nature Celebration. Part environmental education and part festival, Nature Fiesta is an afternoon when people from all over the community come together to enjoy learning about our local nature. Exhibits, displays, live animals, crafts, guided hikes and games will get visitors of all ages interested in our rivers, birds, butterflies, wildflowers and bees. Food available for purchase from Simply Delish food truck , or bring a picnic. Its sure to be a fun-filled afternoon!

Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve will be set up with stations featuring exhibits and materials focused on Rivers, Monarchs, Wildflowers, Birds, Pollinators and Nature Art. A 55-gallon aquarium at the Rivers station will be filled with 20 species of local fish, mussels, crayfish, tadpoles and turtles. Live caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies will be on display at the Monarch station, as well as migration maps and samples of milkweed plants. Milkweed plants will be available for sale, along with other native plants and native plant educational materials distributed by Wild Ones volunteers at the Wild Flowers station. Live raptors and bird artifacts will be displayed by  and Sand Bluff Bird Observatory at the Birds station. The Pollinators station will feature information about local native bees and honey bees. Each station will offer educational materials in both English and Spanish. Themed guided hikes, scheduled throughout the afternoon, led by naturalists paired with interpreters will guide groups into the forest preserve to get first-hand looks at the river, wildflowers and birds.

Nature Bingo, a wildlife ID game, and butterfly photo boards offer self-guided fun. Nature Fiesta is also the kick-off event for the popular Get Outside, Get Healthy! program. Each family attending will receive a Get Outside, Get Healthy! passport listing dozens of free guided opportunities to explore hiking, paddling, camping, nature study and more throughout the summer. This festive and enlightening event is FREE and open to the public.  Nature Fiesta is generously supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and by SwedishAmerican, a Division of UW Health. Co-sponsored by Wild Ones Rock River Valley, Lathrop School and Severson Dells Nature Center.