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!
Celebrating the Harvest from Our Gardens! Featuring Samples of Stone Soup
Whether you’re a seasoned drummer, or have never picked up a drum, you are invited to participate! We have all kinds of fun percussion instruments for you to try!
Even if you don’t want to drum, you can sample our “Stone Soup” featuring organic herbs and veggies from our garden. Or roast a s’more in our fireplace.
- No registration, Free event! Donations are appreciated!
Presented by Natural Land Institute In Partnership with Nature at the Confluence
Be inspired by literary works featuring poetry and prose about nature as you listen to the writers read their creative compositions that celebrate time in nature and commemorate their experiences with and observations of the natural world. This event will also be a book launch for an anthology of poetry and prose works from past participating writers. Please join us for this exciting fall evening event at Nature at the Confluence.
Cost: FREE for NLI members, $5 for non-members
Registration requested by Thursday, September 27: call 815/964-6666 – Click Here to Register
Fall is the perfect time to blaze some trail.
Terry Bomkamp of Emmaus Adventures presents “Fall Backpacking Adventures”. In this program you’ll learn about how to pack and where to go for a fabulous fall backpacking experience. Terry says “Fall is my favorite time to backpack and camp, cool, crisp days and nights, no bugs, less crowded trails and great color in the North Woods!”
Terry has organized and led 100+ backpacking trips and teaches Introduction to Backpacking and Backcountry Cooking seminars at Canoe Fest, Rock Valley College, and Rocktown Adventures.
Community Fire and Drum & Percussion Circle
Join in the fun each month on the 3rd Thursday, June-Sept, 6:30-8:00pm. Whether you’re a seasoned drummer, or have never picked up a drum, you are invited to participate! We have all kinds of fun percussion instruments for you to try!
- Different themes each month.
- Free S’mores are always part of the fun.
- No registration, Free event!
- Fun for the whole family!
Fall Fire and Drum & Percussion Circle
It’s all about art at the Fall Fire and Drum Circle! We will feature the art of local artisans. Beautiful jewelry by Healing Tree Jewelry, Unique creations by Lake Girl Glass and Love Makes Creations.
“Be An Artist” Make and Takes – You can become an artist too! Make and Take Art projects will be available for a $5 fee. Make a cool creation by yourself or as a family to take home to hang on the wall!
Join in the Drumming fun! Whether you’re a seasoned drummer, or have never picked up a drum, you are invited to participate! We have all kinds of fun percussion instruments for you to try!
- Free S’mores are always part of the fun.
- No registration, Free event!
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
Registration: 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
Our first program filled up, so we’ve opened up another class! Please register below to secure your spot!
Dutch Oven Cooking is a unique and fun way to prepare delicious meals and desserts for your family and friends. Come see how easy it is to prepare crowd-pleasing meals around the campfire and at home using your own cast iron cookware, easy to follow recipes, and simple ingredients!
Traditionally seen as a campfire method of cooking, Dutch Ovens have become popular for home cooking as well, and once you’ve had some basic instruction and a chance to try it, you’ll be preparing great dishes in no time! For those unfamiliar with cast iron cooking methods, using a Dutch Oven to prepare a meal can seem like an intimidating experience. Heating coals, seasoning the cast iron, and calculating heating temperatures can put even an experienced cook out of their comfort zone, but we’ll get you off and cooking in no time! Dutch Ovens can be used to prepare main dishes and sides, and of course, dessert!
In this program Terry Bomkamp will share his favorite recipes and hints for a successful meal every time. You’ll be able to enjoy samples of Terry’s creations!
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.
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.
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
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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.