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!

Nature Art Day : Creativity At The Confluence @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Oct 21 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Nature Art Day at Nature At The Confluence is a unique Fall art experience that emphasizes collaborative creativity using nature as inspiration. The public is invited to join Beloit College student artists in creating temporary artwork made with natural elements.

Create Nature Art – Participants are invited to immerse themselves in nature by walking the trails and collecting objects from nature. Then they’ll step indoors to use their “found” items, or supplied items, to create their own temporary artwork that will be photographed and added to “Nature Mosaic”, an online photo gallery. This virtual art gallery will show the collaborative creativity of our community and will be featured on the website and social media using the hashtag #2018NatureMosaic.  You may work individually, or groups and families can work together on their art piece. All art will be deconstructed after it has been photographed.

► Observe Nature  Art Creation Throughout the afternoon Beloit College student artists will be working collaboratively on a temporary art piece made out of natural materials found in the prairie and woods. Working within a 2-hour timeframe, they will create something beautiful out of the seemingly mundane bits and pieces of natural materials. At the end of the day, the artwork will be photographed, then deconstructed and returned to nature.  The featured Beloit College student artists are Dorothea Pantelios, Fern Denne, and Lisa Colligan.

► Preview Art Sculpture Visitors will also be able to preview a sculpture concept by Ho-Chunk artist Truman Lowe, which artistically represents a Ho-Chunk wigwam. If funding is secured, a full-sized cast metal sculpture would be installed overlooking Turtle Creek, near the original location of Turtle (Ke-Chunk) village, a major Ho-Chunk village at the confluence prior to 1832.  Fundraising for this art project is currently underway.

►  Nature Art Day is a free event for all ages and will be held on Sunday, October 21, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Nature At The Confluence, 306 Dickop Street, South Beloit, IL. It will be held rain or shine as the art portion of the event is held indoors.  Even if you don’t want to create art, you can walk the trails, enjoy hot cider and a warm fire.

► Cameras at the Confluence Fall Walkabout – Immediately following this event, you may also enjoy Cameras at the Confluence Fall Walkabout, Sunday, October 21, 4:00-5:30 p.m. Photographers of all skill levels are invited to join a walk along the creeks and river at Nature At The Confluence, capturing the unique changes to the landscape and plants during the fall. You’ll learn about the unique history, industrial legacy and natural areas of this land as we walk about the property in search of subjects to photograph. A creek side fire & with S’mores will be offered. Dress for the weather and walking somewhat rugged terrain. Free event, donations accepted. A program for all ages and photography skill level. Guided by Therese Oldenburg, executive director of Nature At The Confluence and professional photographer Trisha Peters.

Fall Walkabout – Cameras At The Confluence Photographer Meetup @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Oct 21 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Let’s do a fall walkabout along the creeks and river at Nature At The Confluence – capturing the unique changes to the landscape and plants during the fall. 

Please join us on Sunday, Oct 21, 4-5:30pm for our Cameras at the Confluence Fall Walk About program. In this month’s program you’ll learn about the unique history, industrial legacy and natural areas of this land as we walk about the property in search of subjects to photograph. Guided by Therese Oldenburg and Trisha Peters.

  • All skill levels are welcome.
  • A Great family activity!
  • Bring your camera.
  • A creek side fire & s’more’s will be part of the fun!
  • Dress for the weather and walking somewhat rugged terrain.
  • Free event – Donations appreciated.
  • No registration required.





Essential Oils 101 Class – Free program! @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Nov 10 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

essential oils class Essential oils and plant medicine have been used for centuries to support the health and well-being of families and entire communities. Recently essential oils have regained popularity as people search for natural and safe remedies to help them sleep, stay healthy, and thrive despite stressful environments.

We’ll discuss the basics of essential oils, safe use, why purity matters, and how you and your family can stay healthy this winter! You’ll have the opportunity smell different oils and purchase oils at this class.

Presenters: This class is presented by Alicia Srdjan, a registered nurse and Tina Wagner of Wildhaven Soap Co. (making natural soap since 1998)

Class Fee: Free
Although the class is free, space is limited, so we ask you to register below.

Alicia’s Testimonial “I was searching for something to help my boys with sleep, focus, calming, anxious feelings, and more. Essential oils have helped them in all those ways and more! Best of all, they did so without any scary side effects that can be common among other interventions. Come to the class and learn why my boys went from just surviving to now thriving!”

Register for Free

Winter Solstice Gathering and Luminary Walk @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Dec 20 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

The Winter solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. On this darkest of nights, we invite you enjoy the warmth of the community fire, stroll the candle lit pathways, make s’mores in our toasty fire, listen to the sounds of the season and make pinecone bird feeders to hang outdoors for our feathered friends.

  • Enjoy the beautiful sounds of hammered dulcimer holiday music by Judy Cummings
  • Free event, but donations are appreciated.
  • We look forward to welcoming back the sun with you. Please join us!
CANCELLED: Nature Kids Winter Adventures In The 100 Acre Woods @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Jan 19 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Sorry folks, we have to cancel due to road conditions and conditions in our parking lot. But, get out and enjoy the beautiful snow today! Have an adventure in your neck of the woods!

Help us celebrate and kick off our 2019 Adventures In The 100 Acres Wood programs that are inspired by Winnie the Pooh stories. Author A.A. Milne brought the adorable, honey-loving bear to life in his stories which also featured his son, Christopher Robin. National Winnie the Pooh Day commemorates Milne’s birthday on January 18, 1882.

We’re offering fun programs all year with our Nature Kids Adventures In The 100 Acre Woods. Click here to see them all, or sign up below to get updates on new programs when we add them!

  • Story time, Snack, Nature Craft, Winter Walk About (we’ll be walking outside at the end, so dress appropriately)
  • 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.

CANCELLED! Winter Walkabout – part of Beloit Winterfest @ Nature At The Confluence Campus
Jan 26 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CANCELLED DUE TO EXTREME COLD – The City of Beloit has cancelled all outdoor events associated with Beloit Winterfest due to the extreme cold anticipated over the weekend, including this event.

Come explore the Confluence during our Winter Walk About during Beloit’s Winterfest!

  • Do a Walk About with our Naturalist to see what critters are active during the winter at the confluence.
  • Enjoy a Winter Scavenger Hunt
  • Enjoy free S’mores and warm yourself at our big fire as the sun sets on a beautiful winter day!
  • Make a paper snowflake to decorate our walls this winter!
  • Free drop in program – come and go at any time!
  • No Registration required.
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.

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.

“Cameras At The Confluence: Weather, It Matters” with Tom Purdy @ Nature at the Confluence
Mar 24 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Nature At The Confluence launches its third season of free photography programs with “Cameras At The Confluence: Weather, It Matters”, featuring weather photography by local photographer and storm chaser Tom Purdy.

Weather photography is an exciting genre of photography that takes skill, knowledge, determination and little luck to capture the stunning displays nature exhibits during weather events.  From being able to read the storm and dialing in the right settings, to watching the radar, then positioning yourself in a location that will yield a great shot.

On Sunday, March 24, 3:00 p.m., at the “Cameras At The Confluence: Weather, It Matters”  program you’ll learn what it takes to shoot weather events, lightning and other sky phenomenon from Tom Purdy, photographer and amateur storm chaser from southern Wisconsin who has a passion for all things weather. Tom is co-owner of the popular Wisconsin Weather and Photography Facebook page and website. This program is also the season kick off for Cameras At The Confluence and includes light refreshments and an opportunity to find out more details about upcoming programs. Sign up below to receive emails about upcoming photography programs.

Cameras At The Confluence is free monthly program that features a new photography topic each month with special guest speakers and experts. Participants will have time to discuss and try new techniques and share tips during the program. This free program, held at Nature At The Confluence Learning Center, 306 Dickop Street, South Beloit, Ill, is open to area photographers of all skill levels and no registration is required. Beloit photographer Mark Preuschl will be the facilitator at each program and each month a photographer that specializes in the monthly topic will be the guest presenter.

Other Cameras At The Confluence programs

Thursday, April 25, 6:00 p.m., “Macro Photography – A Budding Topic”, Spring has so much life bursting onto the scene and one of the most incredible ways to photograph it is by way of macro photography. Macro photography is the art of photographing objects extremely close-up. Award winning photographer Cindy Vondron is our featured photographer.

Thursday, May 23, 6:00 p.m., “Late Spring & Urban Landscapes”, Featured photographer to be announced.

Tuesday, June 25, 7:00 p.m., “Night Lights”, We’ll use ground fountain fireworks, sparklers, and a blazing fire in the fireplace to set up opportunities for photographer to practice and learn new techniques. Featured photographer to be announced.

Thursday, July 25, 6:30 p.m., “Zoom, Zoom!” – When to zoom, when not to zoom. Featured photographer to be announced.

Tuesday, August 27, 6:30 p.m., “Light, Camera, Action!”, Sports photography, action shooting. Featured photographer to be announced.

Sunday, September 29, 4:00 p.m., “Capturing Color and the Golden Hour”, Get ready to capture the beautiful colors of fall! Featured photographer to be announced.

Thursday, October 17, 6:30 p.m., “How to Shoot People”, Portrait Photography. Featured photographer to be announced.

Saturday, November 16, 2:30 p.m., “Available Light” features holiday shooting. Get ready to capture the colors the season. This is the end of season social, with light refreshments, and opportunity to give feedback and give ideas for new subjects for 2020. Featured photographer to be announced.

For more information email [email protected] or call 815-200-6910. All programs are held at at Nature At The Confluence Learning Center, 306 Dickop Street, South Beloit, IL.

Sign Up To Receive Cameras At The Confluence Emails 

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.