Calendar

There’s many ways to learn, explore, experience nature and have fun at the Confluence Learning Center!

Would you like to see a program here or hold a program? Please email [email protected]

Click the “Categories” button below to see programs and events specifically for youth, adults, families, and free programs!

Feb
19
Tue
Coyote – The Misunderstood Trickster @ Nature at the Confluence
Feb 19 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Cunning, social, resilient, opportunistic, faithful, adaptive, shy, successful, hated, inspirational…

Coyotes have to be one of the most misunderstood species in Illinois and the U.S. They conjure up mixed feelings of fear, anger, and for some wild beauty. There are many stories about coyotes and some circles believe them to be the jokester of the wild. Many of these feelings depend on who you are, where you live, and even what you do for a living. Coyotes get blamed for many things they do and don’t do in our spaces. They none the less should get the award for best survivalist despite the human population. We have all but paved the road for the coyote’s historical expansion. Come and hear more about this incredible animal and what you can expect from them in your neighborhood.

This free presentation is brought to you by Sinnissippi Audubon Society and is presented by Peggy Doty, Educator for the University of Illinois Extension 

BIO: Peggy Doty is an Educator for the University of Illinois Extension specializing in environmental education as a means to relate wildlife related issues and water quality to all ages. She holds a B.S. in Zoology with a specialization in wildlife management. She also holds a M.S. in Education with a specialization in Outdoor Teacher Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Peggy is especially interested in human reactions and relationships to wildlife who have adapted to urban environments. Peggy has been teaching environmental education for over 20 years and is passionate in regards to teaching children about their environment and helping people understand wildlife as it relates to their lives.

Mar
10
Sun
The Search for Ke-Chunk Village At The Confluence with Dr. Bill Green @ Nature at the Confluence
Mar 10 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


The Search for Ke-Chunk Village At The Confluence 

At the confluence of Turtle Creek and the Rock River there once was a very large Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) settlement called Ke-Chunk (Kečąk) or Turtle Village. The Ho-Chunk lived all along Turtle Creek until 1832. “We Once Lived Here: The Ho-Chunk at Ke-Chunk Village” series features a variety of programs held throughout the year at Nature At The Confluence that highlights the culture and heritage of historic and contemporary Native American Indians.

Dr. Bill Green

The Search for Ke-Chunk Village: In this free program, Dr. Bill Green will present findings from his archaeological research along Turtle Creek on the current Confluence Campus in the summer of 2012 which resulted in his report “The Search for Ke-Chunk”. Come learn what we know about Ke-Chunk Village and why people called this area home. We’ll start indoors with a visual presentation and discussion, then walk the confluence property to learn more (less than quarter mile).

BIO: Dr. Bill Green recently retired from Beloit College where he was Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Chair, Museum Studies Program. His major professional interests include North American archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnology. Dr. Green actively conducts archaeological studies of Woodland communities occupied 1000-2000 years ago in the Mississippi River valley.

While this program is offered free to the public, donations are appreciated to support bringing programs like this to the community.

See all programs from the We Once Lived Here: The Ho-Chunk at Ke-Chunk Village Learning Series

Would you like to be informed of new programs about the history of the confluence? Sign up below.

Mar
19
Tue
Let’s Find Signs of Spring! Program with Welty Environmental @ Nature at the Confluence
Mar 19 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Celebrate the Spring Equinox–the 1st day of Spring is March 20th.  Come hike around Nature at the Confluence looking for signs that winter is over. A take home spring craft will also be included.

All ages welcome.

This fun program is offered by Welty Environmental Center . Register using the link below or call 608-362-6212

Mar
31
Sun
Prescribed Burn Training presented by Natural Land Institute @ Nature at the Confluence
Mar 31 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Prescribed Burn Training

Sunday, March 31, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Cost:  $60 (Includes the 155 page Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Manual)
Preregistration is required

Register with Natural Land Institute at this link

Location: Nature at the Confluence for classroom instruction, 306 Dickop St., South Beloit, IL  61080 and prescribed burn location after the lunch break is to be announced and weather permitting.

Natural Land Institute’s Director of Stewardship, Zach Grycan, and Melissa Grycan, Restoration Ecologist for The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, will lead a Prescribed Burn Training Workshop for anyone interested in learning how to manage their own land and volunteering for NLI land stewardship or for other conservation organizations. Learn how to conduct a prescribed burn and tips on best practices from Zach, a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager and Melissa, with many years of experience conducting prescribed burns. The workshop will be based on Chicago Wilderness’ Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Crew Member Training Manual.

Indoor Classroom Instruction:  9:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • Discussion of fire behavior and suppression
  • Effective use of hand and power tools
  • Effective use of water to aid fire suppression
  • Conducting a prescribed burn
  • Ecological effects of fire

LUNCH: 12:30 p.m.—1:30 p.m. (On Own)

Conduct a Prescribed Burn:  1:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.

Participants will receive hands-on learning when they assist with a prescribed burn (weather permitting) at a site to be determined.

To register please call: 815/964-6666 or send your name, address, affiliation (if any) and payment by March 29, 2019 to Natural Land Institute, 320 S. Third St., Rockford, IL  61104, or fill out the form below.

Apr
5
Fri
Ho-Chunk Flute Making Workshop @ Nature at the Confluence
Apr 5 – Apr 7 all-day

A Program Of Our 2019 Learning Series – Kečąk: We Once Lived Here | The Ho-Chunk At Ke-Chunk Village 

Ho-Chunk Flute Making Workshop with Bill Quackenbush, Ho-Chunk Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, 3-day course held April 5-7. During this 3-day instructional course you’ll learn about the history of the Native American courting flute, then you’ll be guided on how to make, then play your very own flute.

This program is held at Nature At The Confluence Environmental Learning Center, which is situated along Turtle Creek and the site of the historic Ho-Chunk Village: Kečąk or Turtle Village. You’ll be able to learn more about the history of this village during the workshop. This program is part of the 2019 Learning Series – Kečąk: We Once Lived Here | The Ho-Chunk At Ke-Chunk Village.

Held over 3-days: April 5, 5:00-9:00 p.m.; April 6, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; April 7, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Limited to 14 participants
  • Cost is $150 and includes all materials to make your flute and carrying bag.
  • You’ll leave with a beautiful Ho-Chunk style Courting Flute and will have the skills to play your flute.
  • Instructor: Bill Quackenbush, Ho-Chunk Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
  • Participants should be 18 years or older and have the ability to work with woodworking tools.
  • Meals on on your own. Brings snacks and beverages. A refrigerator and microwave are available.
  • We must have a minimum of 7 participants to hold this course. If we don’t reach the minimum the course will be cancelled

Register Below

  • Price: $150.00 Quantity:
  • $0.00

Apr
14
Sun
The Reclusive Native Cat – The Bobcat @ Nature at the Confluence
Apr 14 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Bobcat photo from the IL DNR website

Presented by Jennifer Kuroda, Founder of the Illinois Bobcat Foundation

Bobcats, named for their short, bobbed tail, are about twice the size of a common house cat. They use their keen sight and hearing to hunt rabbits, squirrels, small rodents and some birds. They are mostly nocturnal, reclusive animals that prefer forested or wooded areas. Once hunted almost to extinction in the Midwest, bobcats have been making a comeback over the past 40 years.

In this talk, Jennifer will cover every facet of the elusive cats, including history, biology, predator perception, and management. Information about the ongoing bobcat population study by Dr. Jacques at Western Illinois University will also be discussed.

Jennifer will have a table of items that includes scat, skull, etc. She will offer a bobcat tracking activity to kids following the presentation.

BIO: Jennifer Kuroda is the founder of the Illinois Bobcat Foundation. She received her B.S. from the Rockford University and is a life-long resident of Rockford, Illinois. She serves on the Board of the Sinnissippi Audubon and has been a nature lover since she was a young girl.

Apr
16
Tue
April Showers! Program with Welty Environmental @ Nature at the Confluence
Apr 16 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Where does water go? Where does it all come from? Come play games that help us better understand the water cycle, I.D. cloud types, and investigate local runoff and drainage into Kelly Creek and Turtle Creek.

All ages welcome.

This fun program is offered by Welty Environmental Center. Register using the link below or call 608-362-6212

Apr
27
Sat
Nature Kids: Ho-Chunk Storytelling | Celebration of National Storytelling Day – Ages 7-11 @ Nature at the Confluence
Apr 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Nature Kids: Ho-Chunk Storytelling | Celebration of National Storytelling Day - Ages 7-11 @ Nature at the Confluence | South Beloit | Illinois | United States

A Program Of Our 2019 Learning Series – Kečąk: We Once Lived Here | The Ho-Chunk At Ke-Chunk Village 

Nature Kids: Ho-Chunk Storytelling | Celebration of National Storytelling Day, Saturday,  April 27, 10:00-11:00 a.m.,

Oral storytelling is one way that Ho-Chunk culture, traditions, and language are passed down from generation to generation. The featured story is the “The Ho-Chunk Courting Flute”. Storytelling and an art project are part of this program for ages 7-11. Free program is funded  through a grant from Col. Robert H.Morse Foundation.

Would you like to be informed of new Nature Kids Programs? Sign up below.

May
4
Sat
Walk With Me Among My Homelands: Hear the Echoes of My Ancestors @ Nature at the Confluence
May 4 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

A Program Of Our 2019 Learning Series – Kečąk: We Once Lived Here | The Ho-Chunk At Ke-Chunk Village

Janice Rice, a member of Ho-Chunk Nation, invites you to listen and envision a walk amidst the beauty of her ancestral homelands. Rice is a retired librarian with a focus on American Indian resources, literature, culture, history, language preservation & revitalization. $5 suggested donation.

Would you like to be informed of new programs about the history of the confluence? Sign up below.

Jun
2
Sun
“Bears, Bees & Honey Tea Party” | Adventures In The 100 Acre Woods – Ages 4-7 @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Jun 2 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

  • “Bears, Bees & Honey Tea Party”  is our theme for this special Nature Kids program.
  • Bring your favorite bear or other stuffed animal and a blanket or beach towel along for this Tea Party where you’ll learn all about how special bees are!
  • We’ll have a tea party under the shade of The Big Tree, where you’ll enjoy tasting organic herbal tea and lemonade sweetened naturally with local honey.
  • Featuring a Story Under the Big Tree and free play at our Pop Up Discovery Stops
  • Recommended for ages 4-7. Siblings are welcome.
  • Must be accompanied by an adult. This is not a drop off program, adult must stay with the kids.
  • Free Program! *
  • No registration needed.

* This program is offered at no cost to the community through support from the Colonel Robert H. Morse Foundation

Would you like to receive updates on new Nature Kids programs? Sign up below.

Jun
8
Sat
Who Once Lived Here? | Ke-Chunk Village At The Confluence @ Nature at the Confluence
Jun 8 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


Who Once Lived Here? |  Ke-Chunk Village At The Confluence

A Program Of Our 2019 Learning Series – Kečąk: We Once Lived Here | The Ho-Chunk At Ke-Chunk Village 

This program will also be offered on Sunday, August 11 and Saturday, September  7 at 1:00 p.m.

At the confluence of Turtle Creek and the Rock River there once was a very large Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) settlement called Ke-Chunk (Kečąk) or Turtle Village. The Ho-Chunk lived all along Turtle Creek until 1832. “We Once Lived Here: The Ho-Chunk at Ke-Chunk Village” series features a variety of programs held throughout the year at Nature At The Confluence that highlights the culture and heritage of historic and contemporary Native American Indians.  Come learn what we know about Turtle Village and why people called this area home. We’ll start indoors with a visual presentation, and then walk the confluence property to learn more (less than quarter mile).

Presented by Therese Oldenburg, Executive Director, Nature At The Confluence.

  • $5 suggested donation.
  • Program for all ages.

Would you like to be informed of new programs about the history of the confluence? Sign up below.

Jun
18
Tue
Nature Kids Adventures In The 100 Acre Woods – free program – Ages 4-7 @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Jun 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Bring the kids to find adventures in the “100 Acre Woods” at Nature At the Confluence!

Each week features a fun, new theme inspired by Winnie-The-Pooh stories. 

  • Held each Tuesday, 10am-11:00am June 18 through July 23.
  • Featuring Stories Under the Big Tree and Pooh’s Pop Up Discovery Stops & Thinking Spots
  • Recommended for ages 4-7. Siblings are welcome.
  • Must be accompanied by an adult. This is not a drop off program, adult must stay with the kids.
  • Free Program! *
  • No registration needed.
  • Come once, or come for all!
  • These themes also repeat throughout the summer on various Saturday and Sundays. Click here to view free programs.

* This program is offered at no cost to the community through support from the Jeffrey and Judith Adams Fund and the Colonel Robert H. Morse Foundation.

Program Themes

  • June 18 – Adventure Is A Wonderful Thing – Finding adventures in ordinary places, playing Pooh Sticks
  • June 25 – Who’s Living In These Woods?  Habitat Exploration, Make An Animal Home
  • July 2 – What’s Growing In Rabbit’s Garden? Growing food, eating healthy, cooking food
  • July 9 – Bears, Bees and Honey, Oh My! – Sample delicious honey, find out why bees are good and how we can help them
  • July 16- Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away! – Blustery Day, Watershed, Pooh Sticks
  • July 23 – What’s the Buzz About Prairies? – Discover who lives in the prairie – plants, monarchs, bees, birds, fox & more!

Would you like to receive updates on new Nature Kids programs? Sign up below.