Skip to main content

Explore mysterious creatures of Illinois with fall Everyday Environment series

Brown bat laying on a rock

URBANA, Ill. — Illinois’ landscapes are home to various creatures, including native and invasive species. From mussels to lamprey eels in Lake Michigan to in the trees with bats and owls, join University of Illinois Extension to explore nature’s mysterious creatures.

The Everyday Environment series explores natural resources and provides steps anyone can take to help improve the environment. Online sessions are from 1 to 2 p.m. on select Thursdays. The upcoming fall series begins Oct. 12.  

  • Monstrous Mussels, Creepy Carp: Explore Aquatic Invasives in Lake Michigan | Oct. 12, 1 p.m.
    What lurks under the surface? Aquatic invasive species may seem like sea creatures from the movies, but the impact of these introduced plants and animals on Lake Michigan is no fiction. From blood-sucking sea lamprey to jumping silver carp, many AIS look and act like something out of a horror movie. Explore highlights of some of the lake's most infamous AIS and hear about the ongoing efforts to prevent new introductions and manage established species.
  • Providing Natural and Artificial Homes for Bats | Nov. 9, 1 p.m.
    Bats are essential to a healthy ecosystem, as they eat insects that are pests to trees, crops, and us. Most bats use trees as their daytime roosts during spring, summer, and fall. If a location has good places for bats to hunt for food, what attracts them to roost on the property? Learn what makes good natural and artificial roost habitats for bats and other ways to support the local bat population.
  • The Northern Saw-Whet Owl: Our Secretive Winter Neighbors | Dec. 14, 1 p.m.
    The northern saw-whet owl is Illinois’ smallest and most secretive owl species. Unlock the secrets of this species that live in our backyards in the winter. Learn about the latest research, what researchers are looking for, and what we are learning about the birds.

The live webinars are free, but registration is required. Register at for series sessions. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, contact Erin Garrett at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

Recordings are available after the session on YouTube at

To stay informed about more Everyday Environment programs, subscribe to email updates at

SOURCEErin Garrett, Illinois Extension, Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy educator

WRITERJenna Braasch, Illinois Extension, Media Communications Coordinator

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.