Submitted by McHenry County Conservation District
If you are looking for something the whole family can do for free on a Saturday afternoon, join a "Lost Valley Venture" from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, May 4-25, at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood.
This family exploration program includes a nature lesson, game, and activity based around this month's topic: "Nesting Time."
If the weather allows, guests also will go for a short outdoor exploratory hike with staff, so dress for the weather and walking. No registration is required. All ages are welcome.
The topics change monthly. In June, it will be "Terrific Turtles," followed in July by "Predators and Prey" and in August by "Incredible Insects."
This program is intended for families and cannot accommodate organized groups. Youth groups should contact Prairieview Education Center at (815) 479-5779 to schedule a program for their group.
After the program, visit the special photography exhibit, "Connecting," on display daily through May 31 in the Lost Valley Visitor Center. Sometimes one can overlook the beauty in their immediate surroundings, always looking for something better, or different. No matter where you go, or where you live, there are things worth seeing and experiencing. A still image can offer a new perspective of familiar views. On Sunday, May 5, you can meet the photographer at the artist reception from 2 to 5 p.m.
Also on Saturday, May 4, the Northwest Suburban Astronomers will host a Star Party from 7 to 10 p.m. at Marengo Ridge Forest Preserve, 3100 N. Route 23 in Marengo.
Look at stars, galaxies, nebulae and star clusters with the help of NSA member telescopes. Observing highlights will be the planets Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter; deep sky objects like the Andromeda Galaxy, the Great Orion Nebula, and the Crab nebula; globular star clusters M5, M3 and M13; open star clusters The Pleiades/The Seven Sisters and The Double Cluster along with other Messier and deep sky objects.
Dress for chilly evenings and bring a flashlight covered with red plastic or cellophane (red light preserves your night vision). Arrive around 7 p.m. or come early and hike the trails. You are welcome to bring your own telescope or binoculars. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be canceled.
For details, visit www.mccdistrict.org.