Signs of Spring with the St. Charles Park District

With birds singing, worms wriggling and the frogs serenading after the long winter we too must throw on our walking shows and emerge from hibernation and what better way to do it than with a little time in nature. Studies show time in the fresh air, sunshine and even through the drizzle, help us clear our minds and give us energy.

So mark the calendars and register for these great nature experiences hosted through the St. Charles Park District’s Adult Activity Center.

Signs of Spring

Bright yellow daffodils and colorful tulips shooting through the mud are often those first signs that spring has begun but there is so much more to discover about the changing plant and wildlife as spring emerges.

Join Pam Otto for the program Signs of Spring at 1 p.m. April 19 as she shares the subtle signs of the season that can easily be missed.

“Pam can go into so much more details that will help you to really understand what is going on in nature,” explains Lynne Yuill, supervisor of the St. Charles Park District’s Adult Activity Center.

The program will include a presentation indoors followed by a walk outside in the Native Garden at Pottawatomie Park.

With Pam’s vast knowledge about nature this program is a great opportunity to learn more about the habitats along the river as well as the plant and wildlife in your own backyard.

Otto is excited to resume in-person classes and to be able to connect with local residents through programs. During the past year Otto, who is also known for her weekly nature-based column in the Kane County Chronicle, also began hosting weekly Zoom videos discussions. These video talks allowed her to connect with the community and chat about nature during the past year.

But being able to walk outside with people and point-out the budding trees, the birds nesting and the native plants starting to bloom is an experience she truly enjoys.

History Hits the Trail

Otto will also lead a walk and discussion for History Hits the Trail where participants can learn more about the history of the Hickory Knolls Natural Area from 10-11:30 a.m. Monday, May 24.

Otto’s extensive knowledge of this area, with its history and the development over the years, makes her a wonderful guide as she brings the past to life. The program includes an indoor discussion followed by an outdoor walk through the area, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

Participants will receive a copy of the Harley the Hawk Adventure Trail Map, which is a great way to continue your explorations.

Birding Basics

Learn more about the song birds in your backyard and who’s fluttering overhead as Otto leads Birding Basics at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 6. In this class she’ll bring in experts from the Kane County Audubon to share their advice to bird watching enthusiasts and help others discover a great new hobby.

Discover who is migrating through the area at this time of year, which birds are calling the area home for the season and how you can become a birdwatcher too.

Arboretum Walk

While St. Charles Park District’s collection of parks includes plenty of great green space one of the favorites has to be Mt. St. Mary Park and visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the park with the special Arboretum Walks. The walks will be led by St. Charles Park District Arborist Dave Svitak as participants walk and chat.

“This park is just stunning and beautiful,” Yuill said. “There are so many varieties of trees and some of them are well over 100 years old.”

The Arboretum Walk will encompass a loop that’s about ¾ of a mile. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear those good walking shoes too.

The walks are schedule for 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays April 28 and May 5. Each walk will have a different focus, and you can sign up for more than one walk and discover new tree facts on each day. This activity ends at the covered pavilion for a post-walk snack and water. There are restrooms available for use at Mount St. Mary Park.

Otto’s Signs of Spring, Birding Basics and History Hits the Trail programs are free to members of the St. Charles Adult Activity Center and $2 for nonmembers. The Arboretum Walks are $5 for members and $8 for nonmembers. Advance registration is required for each event. Space is limited to keep the groups small.