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!
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.
- 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 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.
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
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
Would you like to be informed of new programs about the history of the confluence? Sign up below.
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
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
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
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 both who are experienced prescribed burn managers. The workshop will be based on Chicago Wilderness’ Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Crew Member Training Manual.
Indoor Classroom Instruction: 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
(Nature at the Confluence, 306 Dickop St., South Beloit, IL)
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: 12:00 p.m.—1:00 p.m. (On Own)
Conduct a Prescribed Burn: 1:00 p.m.—3:00 p.m.
Participants will receive hands-on learning when they assist with a prescribed burn (weather permitting) of the prairie at NLI’s Foss Farm, about 7 miles away on Rockton Rd.
(Includes the 155 page Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Manual)
PLEASE REGISTER and pay by March 29, 2019 on our website calendar (www.naturalland.org), call 815/964-6666, or send your name, address, affiliation (if any) to Natural Land Institute, 320 S. Third St., Rockford, IL 61104..
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
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.
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