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posted: 9/24/2012 1:44 PM

Big fall events at Schaumburg's Spring Valley

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Area residents will get two great opportunities to see the Schaumburg Park District's Spring Valley Nature Center in its best autumn light over the next couple of weeks.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, the nature center at 1111 E. Schaumburg Road will play host to a special event for National Public Lands Day.

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Staff at Spring Valley will show families, youth groups and others about the stewardship of natural areas and how to contribute to local environmental efforts. Participants will help collect seeds of rare native grasses and wildflowers which will be used to plant additional prairie acreage within Schaumburg's parks.

Children and youth groups must be accompanied by an adult. Groups planning to volunteer should call (847) 985-2100.

No equipment is needed to volunteer, but participants should wear long pants and sturdy footwear. Refreshments will be available, and volunteers will receive a packet of native wildflower seeds to take home.

Spring Valley's 29th annual Autumn Harvest Festival, this year sponsored by Whole Foods Market, will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at its Volkening Heritage Farm and Merkle Cabin.

Visitors will see scheduled demonstrations of sauerkraut and apple butter making, cider pressing and working draft horses. They also will have the opportunity to visit a late 18th century frontier camp to experience food cooked over an open fire and the inside of a Native American wigwam.

Participants will be invited to help harvest the first corn crop and learn how to shock corn stalks after being cut in the field.

New games and other activities for children include simple woodworking and carpentry, raking up hay and sorting grains. Other activities include pumpkin decorating, helping with farm chores, children's crafts and live music. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The cost of the Autumn Harvest Festival is $4 per person and $16 per family of six or fewer. Additional members are $4 each. Children ages 3 and under are free.

Parking for the festival is available at either the nature center at 1111 E. Schaumburg Road or off Plum Grove Road across from the Heritage Farm at 201 S. Plum Grove Road.

For more information, call (847) 985-2100 or visit parkfun.com.

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