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The Natural Land Institute (NLI) is hosting a Family Nature Adventures day on Saturday, June 22, at Nygren Wetland Preserve in Rockton. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., includes 14 nature- and arts-themed learning stations.

Family Nature Adventures, presented by Natural Land Institute (NLI), at Nygren Wetland Preserve, 3190 W. Rockton Road, Rockton, is a free family-oriented event that will be on Sat., June 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Everyone is handed a passport at check-in to get stamped at each station after participating in that topic’s activity. Guests may visit the learning stations at their own pace with activities lasting 15 minutes or less. A minimum of six stamps is required for children to get a Junior Naturalist badge and certificate and for adults to receive a gift.

Family Nature Adventures inspires a land ethic (understanding the relationship between people and land are intertwined) in all who attend. With 14 nature- and arts-themed learning stations, Family Nature Adventures is a unique event that provides hands-on learning opportunities targeted to children ages 2-14, is bi-lingual (English/Spanish), and requires children to recite a promise to protect the land, water, air, animals and plants in their community before receiving their badge.

Registration is requested for this free event. For more information and to register visit: or call 815/964-6666.

New to this year’s event is the Dragonfly and Damselfly Art station. Also new, the Writing station will focus on phenology journaling, the act of writing down what you observe about nature around you throughout the year. A new emphasis for the Prairies station will be on a sensory experience, and Welty Environmental Center will be the new host of the Mammals station.

Other popular returning stations are Bluebirds, Butterflies, Wetlands, Woodlands, Groundwater, Fish, Native American History, Reptiles, The Art of Bird Journaling and Eagles.

Station hosts include organization partners: Burpee Museum of Natural History (Reptiles), Macktown Living History (Native American History), Nature at the Confluence (Eagles), Northern Regional Groundwater Protection Planning Committee (Groundwater), Severson Dells Nature Center (Fish), Sinnissippi Audubon Society (The Art of Bird Journaling) and Welty Environmental Center (Mammals). Knowledgeable volunteers and members of NLI’s Community Outreach & Engagement Committee also host learning stations.

Family Nature Adventures is supported by a $6,000 grant from the Kiwanis Club of Rockford and these event sponsors—Ninth Anniversary Sponsor ($5,000): Gorsegner Family Trust; River Otter Sponsors ($1,000): Paul and Teri Baits, Mark and Laurie Luthin, von Briesen & Roper, s.c. |Attorneys at Law; Beaver Sponsor ($750): Northern Regional Groundwater Protection Planning Committee; Mink Sponsor ($500): North Park Water; Learning Station Sponsors include: Tim and Lisa Normoyle (The Art of Bird Journaling), Arc Design Resources Inc (Butterflies), and State Bank of Davis (Dragonfly and Damselfly Art).

About Nygren Wetland Preserve

The Carl & Myrna Nygren Wetland Preserve is a 721-acre wildlife sanctuary owned by the Natural Land Institute. There are prairies, wetlands, bottomland forest, oxbow lakes and ponds in the preserve. Raccoon Creek runs through the preserve with the Rock and Pecatonica Rivers forming the southeast corner of it.

The Dianne Nora Nature Trail is a free 2.5 mile hiking trail around the wetland and is part of the Prairie State Hike app (99¢ in the Apple or Android Store).

About the Natural Land Institute

The Natural Land Institute, an accredited land trust, is a 501(c)(3), non-for-profit land conservation organization based in Rockford, Illinois and has protected 18,000 acres of natural land in Illinois since 1958. Their current service area covers twelve counties in northern Illinois. NLI’s mission is to create an enduring legacy of natural land in northern Illinois for people, plants and animals. For more information and to donate:

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