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Extension Offers Natural Resources Event

trees in winter

Embrace winter's beauty through outdoor exploration and indoor inspiration at University of Illinois Extension’s Winter Trails & Naturalist Tales from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2023. Winter Trails & Naturalist Tales will be held at the Torstenson’s Education Center located at 13735 Cook Road in Pecatonica and will include three "naturalist tales," a "winter trails" outdoor guided hike/bird watching, and lunch.

The first naturalist tale will be The Art of Observing Wildlife, presented by U of I Extension Master Naturalist Connie MacIntosh. Connie is a well-known location presenter and will share information about skills useful to notice more of the natural world. Learn some of the techniques Connie has used over the years while observing and photographing nature right here in the Rockford region.

The second naturalist tale will be Birdwatching for Beginners, presented by U of I Master Naturalist Stacy Clark. She will cover everything from where to find birds, choosing a bird field guide, what to look for when buying binoculars or a spotting scope, and bird watching magazines to birding regulations and ecotourism.  At the end of the day, the group will hit the trails to hike and do some birdwatching. 

After lunch, the third naturalist tale will focus on the association of potentially problematic interactions between plants and insects, Tricia Bethke, Illinois Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator at Morton Arboretum will present You Can't Have One Without the Other: Plant and Pest Associations. She will discuss how to identify, monitor, and control current and potentially serious threats to tree health.

Winter Trails and Naturalist Tales costs $20 per person and includes lunch, three keynote speakers and a guided birdwatching/hike.  For more information or to register, visit or call (815) 986-4357. Pre-registration is required by January 25, 2023.If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Winnebago County Extension office at (815) 986-4357.