There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Through April 16, Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “Rediscover Burpee,” a new exhibit celebrating the 75-year history of Burpee Museum, is an opportunity to rediscover the treasure trove of artifacts, specimens and memorabilia in the museum collection, alongside newly developed exhibits. Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-3433, burpee.org.
Hoo Haven Pelican Program
Jan. 12, 6-7:30 p.m. Meet Marshmallow, the pelican, from Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center, and learn about these magnificent birds. Welty Environmental Center, 1201 Big Hill Court, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.
Day Off on the Farm: Seeds and Snow Edition
Jan. 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Learn what happens on a farm during the snowy season by spending time taking care of animals, touring the farm and learning about seeds. Angelic Organics Learning Center, 1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia, Ill., (815) 389-8455, learngrowconnect.org.
Jan. 18 & Feb. 3, 1-3 p.m. Coloring is the No. 1 relaxation hobby for grown-ups, and it’s a recommended mental health therapy activity. You, too, can be a colorist. Rockford Public Library, Rockton Centre Branch, 3112 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford, (815) 963-5617, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Barks and Books
Jan. 21, 1:30-3 p.m. Dogs from the Quansa Kennels return for a popular program beginning with an explanation of what service dogs are used for, and ending with time for children of all ages to read to each of the visiting dogs. Rockford Public Library, Central Location, 215 N. Wyman St., Rockford, (815) 965-7606, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Book Talk: “The Underground Railroad”
Jan. 24, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Discuss “The Underground Railroad” by bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. The novel begins on a Georgia cotton plantation with a slave named Cora who’s seeking freedom. She embarks on a harrowing flight aboard a secret network of tracks and tunnels. Chat about it over coffee. Rockford Public Library, Central Location, Rockford, (815) 965-7606, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Botany Lab: Hibernation & Migration
Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Have you ever wondered what happens to the fish, ducks and turtles in the lagoon over the winter? What about the beautiful flowers? Learn various methods that plants and animals use to survive our harsh winters. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, (815) 987-8858, nicholasconservatory.com.
Jan. 31 & Feb. 21, 5:30-6 p.m. Children ages 5-12 can learn basic knowledge on how to deal with strangers, what to do if an emergency happens, how to call 911 and how to respond to specific emergencies. The program also provides a reinforcement of rules put in place by caregivers. Presented by the American Red Cross. Rockford Public Library, Montague Branch, 1238 S. Winnebago St., Rockford, (815) 965-7606, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Feb. 8, 5-8 p.m. Parents can meet representatives of Rockford schools and learn about the diverse opportunities and unique programs. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-7606, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Rachel Carson Lecture: “The Women Who Launched the Environmental Movement”
Feb. 12, 2 p.m. In her groundbreaking book “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson warned the world about environmental impact and chemical pesticides. In this living-history program, an actress portraying Carson shares stories about her love for writing, ocean life and her work to awaken the world to the beauty and fragility of nature. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Feb. 15, 6-6:30 p.m. This fun, interactive fire safety program teaches children how to prevent home fires. Students learn about preparedness, what to do in case of a fire, how to develop an emergency action plan and first aid for burns. Presented by the American Red Cross. Rockford Public Library, Rockton Centre Branch, Rockford, (815) 963-5617, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Painted Birdhouse Class
Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-noon. Lighten your heart and welcome birds to your yard. In this hands-on class, participants learn the process of turning a birdhouse into a work of art. Supplies are all provided and no prior experience is required. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, Klehm.org.
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Feb. 19, 2 p.m. The origin of insect order Odonata dates back more than 300 million years, to a time when dragonflies with two-and-a-half-foot wingspans ruled the air. Learn more in a lecture presented by Maria Garrison, biology faculty member at McHenry College in Crystal Lake. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Hidden National Treasures of Illinois
Feb. 26, 2 p.m. Join botanist, photographer, author and president of the IL Native Plant Society, Christopher Benda, for a program about the rare natural areas of the Prairie State. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Prairies Now and Then
March 5, 2 p.m. Learn more about the history of prairies in North America and how glaciers, climate changes, herds of grazing mammals and fire brought about these unique ecosystems. This program is presented by Austin Webb, assistant superintendent of restoration at the Byron Forest Preserve District. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Sterling, Ill. Pipestone & Native Americans
March 12, 2 p.m. Archaeologists working near Sterling, Ill., have documented the presence of a special type of mineral that was used for prehistoric Native American tobacco pipes and other ceremonial objects. Presented by Midwest archaeologist Shannon Fie, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Beloit College. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535.