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Say goodbye to summer with a fishing derby at Hidden Lakes Trout Farm in Bolingbrook. Two sessions of the Summer Sendoff Fishing Derby are set for 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 23. –Photo by Forest Preserve staff, Anthony Schalk.

Forest Preserve Programs Feature Fossils, Fishing, Seated Bird-Watching

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Say goodbye to summer with a wide variety of late September Forest Preserve District of Will County programs. Online registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org Here is the lineup…

Fossils of Will County, Zoom webinar, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 20: Join Donald G. Mikulic for a fascinating look at the fossils found along the Des Plaines River. Mikulic was a senior paleontologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and now serves as the curator at Weis Earth Science Museum in Menasha, Wisconsin. He has edited books about fossils, including “Fabulous Fossils: 300 Years of Worldwide Research on Trilobites.” Free, ages 14 or older. Register online for the Zoom link.

Fall Equinox Paddle, from 5 – 7 p.m., Thursday, September 21, Monee Reservoir, Monee Township: Watch the sunset with an evening paddle on the water. Bring your own kayak or gear will be provided, including a choice of a canoe or kayak. After the paddle, hang by the fire and enjoy a beverage of choice. BYOB – beer or wine only. This is a non-instructional hike on the water. Ages 21 or older; $20 per person. Register by September 19.

Summer Sendoff Fishing Derby, from 7 – 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, September 23, Hidden Lakes Trout Farm at Hidden Oaks Preserve, Bolingbrook: Find the best spot along the shore and try your luck at catching fish. One free container of night crawlers will be provided. First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded for the biggest catch. Ages five or older; $5 per person. Register by September 23. Registration is available the day of the derby, if spots remain.

Museum Campus Exploration Day, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturdays, September 23 and October 28, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville: Drop in for self-guided exploration of the campus. Visit the 18th-Century-era Traders Cabin or peek inside the Native American longhouse above the pollinator garden. Learn about the French fur traders and Potawatomi, who once called this area home.

Seed Saving and Sips, from 6 – 8 p.m., Thursday, September 28, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township: Learn the basics of flower and seed saving, meet some easy-to-grow flowers, and spend some time harvesting and sorting seeds to save and plant in your garden next spring. BYOB – non-alcoholic drinks or beer and wine only. Participants will leave with seeds from each flower variety, storage envelopes, and growing information. Extra seeds will be donated to the seed library at Crete Public Library. Ages 21 or older; $5 per person. Register by September 27.

Coffee at the Confluence, from 9:30 – 11 a.m., Saturday, September 30, McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove, Channahon: Experience the joys of seated bird-watching, while drinking freshly brewed bird-friendly coffee. Bring a foldable lawn chair and a favorite mug and let the birds come to you at the confluence of the DuPage and Des Plaines Rivers. Meet in the parking lot and hike to the confluence. Chair transportation assistance will be available. Free, ages 18 or older. Register by September 29.

Paint and Take a Rain Barrel, from 1- 3 p.m., Saturday, September 30, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook: Join a Forest Preserve naturalist and special guests from The Conservation Foundation to celebrate World Rivers Day. Learn about water conservation activities your family can incorporate at home. Each family will paint a rain barrel to take home and install to help conserve freshwater. Free, all ages. Register by September 24. Registration is by phone only; call 8125-722-4121.

Try-It, Ty-It Fly-Tying Workshop, 90-minute sessions at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m., Saturday, September 30, Monee Reservoir, Monee Township: Trout Unlimited will present this workshop intended for those with limited fly-tying experience, including beginners. General techniques for fly tying will be shown, with basic trout fly patterns demonstrated. All equipment and materials are provided by Trout Unlimited. Free, ages 12 or older. Register by September 27.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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