Smash your pumpkin at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots Nov. 2
During the months of November and December, the Naperville Park District offers several ways to enjoy learning about nature and participating in eco-friendly community events.
• On Saturday, Nov. 2, everyone is invited to drop off their leftover pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns at the Pumpkin Smash from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots, 811 S. West St. Pumpkins will be composted directly into the soil, adding water and nutrients while keeping pumpkins out of the landfill. Kids can smash their pumpkins themselves or families may drop off their pumpkins to be smashed by volunteers. This is a free event. Participants are asked to remove any decorations, along with candles from their pumpkins before dropping them off.
• Knoch Knolls Nature Center will begin its winter hours on Nov. 1, which are: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The center also will be open on Sundays during November from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but closed on Sundays during December, January and February.
• The next Adult Hike with a Naturalist is planned for Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Knoch Knolls Park. Meet at the Nature Center at 320 Knoch Knolls Road. View the fall landscape, learn about wildlife in the area and enjoy the fresh air. It is for age 18 or older. The hike is free but registration is required. Register at www.napervilleparks.org.
• Families can learn about Great Horned Owls and other owls in our area on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the "Owl Prowl" Family Nature Nights event at Knoch Knolls Nature Center. Make a craft, go on a hike to listen and look for owls, and learn about their special adaptations for hunting at night. The cost is $8 for Naperville Park District residents and $12 for nonresidents and registration is available at www.napervilleparks.org.
• Nature Discovery Days begin Nov. 23-24 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and run monthly through March. The November theme is "Illinois Mammals," with fun, hands-on activities, games, crafts, experiments, nature books and more for children accompanied by an adult. The December Nature Discovery Days theme is "All About Evergreens." It will be offered Saturdays, Dec. 14 and 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a free, drop-in event with no registration required. At least one adult must attend with each family.
• Another family or group event with a holiday focus is the Winter Craft Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 7, where families or scout troops can make nature-themed gifts and holiday items from recycled materials. At least one adult must attend with each family or group. The cost is $4 for residents and 8$ for nonresidents.
• Beginning Nov. 18 through Feb. 1, holiday light recycling will be available at Knoch Knolls Nature Center, Fort Hill Activity Center, Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center and Springbrook Golf Course Golf Shop. Drop off nonworking holiday lights at these locations as the Naperville Park District partners with Elgin Recycling to transport them where they can be broken down into reusable materials and kept out of the landfill. Lights only please, no plastic bags.