Nature program to explore Illinois from 'Glaciers to Wildflowers'

  • Learn about the evolution of the Prairie State's landscapes, soils and plants at the next "Learn from the Experts" program Feb. 24.

    Learn about the evolution of the Prairie State's landscapes, soils and plants at the next "Learn from the Experts" program Feb. 24. Daily Herald File Photo

Posted2/9/2018 12:06 PM

Submitted by Forest Preserve District of Kane County

Discover how Illinois' living landscape came to be, during a nature program with geologist, professor and author Raymond Wiggers on Saturday, Feb. 24.


Wiggers' talk will explore the origins of Illinois some 20,000 years ago, when the landscape of the Upper Midwest was a foreboding ice desert. He will describe the changes since the last glaciation, and the evolution of the Prairie State's landscapes, soils and plant communities into their present forms. An overview of significant pre-Ice Age events is also included.

The program "Glaciers to Wildflowers: How Illinois' Living Landscapes Came to Be" will be 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Drive, St. Charles.

Advance registration is required. This "Learn from the Experts" program is for ages 18 and older. The registration fee is $10 per person. Call (630) 444-3190 or email to register.

A native of northeastern Illinois, Wiggers is a graduate of New Trier East High School in Winnetka and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree he served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy, as a gunnery officer aboard USS Little Rock and then Fleet Navigator and Special Operations Officer for Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet deployed in the Mediterranean Sea.

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After his return from Europe and military service, Ray worked as a geologist and field inspector for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, open-space advocate and park-improvement program director, chief horticulturist for a New York City landmark garden, horticultural company owner, Vermont Public Radio classical music host, Illinois State Museum curator, National Park Service ranger, commercial greenhouse manager and orchidist, noted public lecturer and tour guide, and professor on the faculties of Barat College of DePaul University and Lake Forest College.

He has published five books for adults and children on natural-history themes. These include the "Plant Explorer's Guide to New England" and "Geology Underfoot in Illinois." He recently retired from almost two decades of college teaching, including courses in earth science, geology of Illinois, physical geography, and oceanography at the College of Lake County and Oakton Community College.

"Learn from the Experts" programs are taught by experts in their respective fields and offer in-depth learning opportunities about our local ecology. The programs are offered through a partnership with the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, St. Charles Park District and Geneva Park District.

To view the full roster of forest preserve district nature programs, visit Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

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