Natural Resource Education Center

The Natural Resources Education Center (NREC) located in Russell Woods Preserve provides an environmental education experience for area school children and adults.

In 1993, University of Illinois Extension, DeKalb County Forest Preserve (DCFP), and the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) created the Natural Resource Education Consortium to support natural resource education in DeKalb County. University of Illinois Extension created a staff position, the forest preserve provided the building, and SWCD and DCFP supported the programming with an annual grant. The University of Illinois Extension staffs the center and delivers natural resource education, including field studies, classroom visits, summer camps, and family programs. NREC is the only nature center in DeKalb County and is situated on the scenic south branch of the Kishwaukee River.

Natural Resource Education Center

Saturday, April 20 | 10 am-1 pm



University of Illinois Extension, DeKalb County Forest Preserve, and the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District are hosting their annual NatureFest on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Russell Woods Forest Preserve located one mile west of Genoa on state route 72.

NatureFest focuses on families with elementary aged children, but everyone is welcome! Extension staff and Master Naturalist volunteers work together to present multiple hands-on learning activities throughout the forest. Visitors register under the open shelter or at the Natural Resource Education Center (NREC). Guests will get a map of the activities and a passport to track their experience. Be sure to dress for the weather.

"It's time to get outside and enjoy our natural spaces, starting with NatureFest 2024!"
Peggy Anesi, Extension Educator and NREC Director