Lake County Forest Preserves offer 12 virtual programs in May

Events include presentations on wildflowers, history and World Turtle Day

LIBERTYVILLE – Lake County Forest Preserves educators are offering virtual programs in May.

Searching for wildflowers, learning about Lake County history or celebrating World Turtle Day are among the options.

In addition, a self-guided walking program is available.

Most programs require a ticket available on the LCFPD website, After registering, a Zoom link is emailed to participants no later than one hour prior to the start of the program. Registration closes at 12 a.m. on the day of the program. If participants don’t receive a link, they should check their spam folder or email with questions. Learn more at

Browse all virtual education offerings and register online. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @LCFPD for more educational resources, webinars and videos.

“We have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback about the virtual programs we offer,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “The vast assortment of topics offers something to pique everyone’s interest.”

Here are the 12 virtual programs being offered in May:

1. Take a virtual “Wildflower Walk” through springtime woodlands and discover the fleeting beauty of native flowers rushing to complete their life cycle before trees shade the forest floor. The program takes place from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 1. A $5 ticket is required.

2. Meet up after school virtually to learn about local nature with an experienced educator and then put your knowledge to the test with “homework” that encourages participants to explore these nature concepts in their backyards and beyond. “Birding 101″ is the topic of the Nature Club this month. The program, geared toward first through fourth graders, takes place from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 5. A Zoom meeting has been set up.

3. “Family Trivia Night” is a free virtual program that takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6. Gather your family to test your knowledge on Lake County, past and present, in a fun and educational trivia game. Your team will be quizzed on dinosaurs, historic people, the forest preserves and more. Tickets are required.

4. “The African American Presence in Illinois, Lake County and the city of Zion” is a virtual program that will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 8. College of Lake County professor Gregory Gordon will talk about the presence of African Americans in this area from their early history to the present. The Preservation Foundation, the charitable partner of the Lake County Forest Preserves, is sponsoring the free event. A ticket is required.

5. The rivers and streams of Lake County are full of rich natural history and provide opportunities for recreation. Join environmental educator April Vaos and paddlesport volunteer Paul Klonowski as they answer your river and stream questions virtually from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 12. A Zoom meeting has been set up for the “Rivers and Streams of Lake County” program. This monthly Q&A series, held live via Zoom or Facebook, features a panel of educators and special guests who share their expertise about Lake County nature and history.

6. “Wildflowers of Ryerson Woods” is a virtual program that will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13. Join one of our educators as he strolls along the trails at the Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods and looks at spring wildflowers. He will focus on tips for identification and share interesting natural history facts about each plant. A $3 ticket is required.

7. Diana Dretske, author and Dunn Museum curator, will discuss the lives of immigrant soldiers in the 96th Illinois and how a photograph in the museum’s collection inspired her new book “The Bonds of War: A Story of Immigrants and Esprit de Corps in Company C, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry,” published by SIU Press. The virtual session takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 19. A $5 ticket is required.

8. “Nature’s Underdogs – Shrews” is a virtual program that takes place from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 20. Explore the mysterious world of creatures that live under our feet. Grab your lunch and join as we learn about a tiny, ferocious carnivore: the shrew. A $3 ticket is required.

9. Want to get out and walk, but not sure where to start? Discover the many places to hike in the forest preserves. During the free virtual program “Hiking in Lake County,” participants will learn what to bring on a walk and about programs that are offered to help you get out and enjoy the trails. A ticket is required for the free session that takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 20.

10. Celebrate World Turtle Day and meet some of the turtles that call Lake County home during a virtual program from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 23. “Turtles of Lake County” will show participants what these animals need to survive and what can be done to help them. A $3 ticket is required.

11. Whether you are new to native gardening or a seasoned veteran, a series of interactive monthly Zoom presentations cover a variety of topics about native plants and how to use them in your home landscapes. “Native Gardeners Club: Ready, Set, Grow” takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 27. This discussion will include information about pollinators and the plants they need. A $3 ticket is required.

12. “Pond Invertebrates” is the topic of a virtual program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 27. Participants will take a close look at pond critters and examine them under a microscope. Focus will be placed on species identification, body parts, adaptations and behaviors. A $3 ticket is required.

If you are looking to get out into the preserves, a popular self-guided program “River Trails at Rollins Savanna” runs every day in May. Signs with trivia questions ranging from history, natural resources and site-specific information will be placed along a designated trail at the preserve in Grayslake. The answers are posted in the preserve after the final trivia sign and online at

“You may be walking the trails anyway, so why not learn a little bit while you’re there,” Director of Education Nan Buckardt said in a news release. “Or perhaps this will be a new trail for you. Your forest preserves are open from 6:30 a.m. to sunset.”