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Junior Master Naturalist Club Begins

two little girls outside at a park
Event Date(s)
Event Time
Canton Park District - Big Creek Park
Event Fee

Does your child enjoy the outdoors, playing, and learning more about the natural world? Then the Junior Master Naturalist program is the perfect way for your 9 – 12-year-old to explore and discover nature.

University of Illinois Extension Junior Master Naturalist program provides science-based educational opportunities that connect kids with nature and helps them become engaged environmental stewards.  This is a new program that connects the 4-H and Extension Master Naturalists programs. This special interest 4-H club will inspire members to gain a sense of belonging with hands-on exploration through nature.

Former science teacher and Extension Master Naturalist Jenny Beal and Canton Park District Superintendent of Recreation Amanda Atchley are leaders of the new Jr. Master Naturalist 4-H Club. It is set to start January 17, 2024 and will meet at Big Creek Park’s Baker Recreation Center in Canton. The club will meet once a month with a wide range of nature related topics and activities planned.

Wednesday, January 17 – Wildlife of Illinois

Location: Big Creek Park’s Baker Rec. Center

*dress in layers and be prepared to go outside.

Time: 3:30 - 5:30pm


Wednesday, February 21 – Fossils & Geology

Location: Donaldson Community Center, 205 S. Ave D

Time: 3:30-5:30pm


Wednesday, March 20 – Climate Change & Weather

Location: Donaldson Community Center, 205 S. Ave D

Time: 3:30-5:30pm


Wednesday, April 17 – Wildflowers & Trees

Location: Big Creek Park Bottom Area

Time: 3:30-5:30pm


Wednesday, May 15 - Pond Explorers, Aquatics & Insects

Location: Lakeland Park Pavilion

Time: 3:30-5:30pm


Wednesday, June 12 – Camping Adventures

Location: Big Creek Park Pavilion

Time: 1-3pm


Wednesday, July 17 - Pool Party & Plans for next year

Location: Big Creek Park Pool

Time: 1-3pm


Cost - $20 per child      ($5 discount if you register and pay by Nov. 30, 2023)

To register, families can set up an account with the Illinois 4-H enrollment system,, and select the 4-H club named Junior Master Naturalist. If you have questions about the registration process more details are available on the Illinois 4-H website or by calling University of Illinois Extension at 309-547-3711.

For more information about club plans contact Amanda Atchley at 309-647-7665.


If you would like to share this opportunity with others you may print this flyer to hand out.


If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Krista Gray or Rachel Van Cleve, 309-547-3711.