Itasca's Springbrook Nature Center offers chance to quietly reconnect with nature

  • Students from Peacock Middle School run on the Frederick Maier Boardwalk at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca. The center provides nearly two miles of trails at 130 Forest Ave.

      Students from Peacock Middle School run on the Frederick Maier Boardwalk at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca. The center provides nearly two miles of trails at 130 Forest Ave. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Barbara Schmidt, founder of Wings and Talons, walks her barred owl at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca.

      Barbara Schmidt, founder of Wings and Talons, walks her barred owl at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Marlene Pasdo gets ready to feed the fish and a box turtle on display in the nature center. The center offers a variety of programs for kids, Scouts and families.

      Marlene Pasdo gets ready to feed the fish and a box turtle on display in the nature center. The center offers a variety of programs for kids, Scouts and families. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • A tarantula is on exhibit at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca.

      A tarantula is on exhibit at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Posted9/13/2019 6:00 AM

It's not exactly Atlantic City, but Itasca's Springbrook Nature Center features plenty of boardwalks and other paths that wind their way through marshes, prairies and woodlands.

Nestled in a residential area near downtown at 130 Forest Ave., the center was established in 1980 by the village in cooperation with the Itasca park and school districts. It features three hiking trails that combine to cover roughly two miles, along with opportunities for bird-watching and, during the winter, snowshoeing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Oliver Peters, 4, of Elmhurst, checks out a broadwing hawk, part of Wings and Talons exhibit at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca.
  Oliver Peters, 4, of Elmhurst, checks out a broadwing hawk, part of Wings and Talons exhibit at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca. - Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

There's a picnic shelter and exhibits inside the big red barn that bring you face to face with some of the creatures in the nearby marsh and prairie.

The center is open this fall from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Elizabeth Chavez of Wood Dale has a picnic with her son Harry Segura, 5, at Springbrook.
  Elizabeth Chavez of Wood Dale has a picnic with her son Harry Segura, 5, at Springbrook. - Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

It offers numerous programs for schools, Scouts and families that focus on topics ranging from native plants and animals to environmental restoration.

You also can check out several birds of prey -- including owls, red-tailed hawks and a turkey vulture -- displayed on the grounds by Wings & Talons, a group founded in 2016 by folks who are passionate about educating the public about our feathered friends.

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An American kestrel is one of the birds with Wings and Talons at Springbrook.
  An American kestrel is one of the birds with Wings and Talons at Springbrook. - Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Springbrook doesn't offer a lot of flash, but it does offer some quiet and solitude on its trails and the chance to reconnect with nature -- and to check out all those boardwalks.

For details about the center, call (630) 773-5572 or visit www.itasca.com/sbnc.

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