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October News!

Our 815 Outside Summer Bingo Challenge came to a close early last month, and we've written a blog post about how it went! Check out the post for information on how many people participated and who won! You can also watch the video below, which highlights some photos that were submitted during the Challenge.

Celebrating OAKtober

October has become known as OAKtober in the conservation community throughout the state of Illinois since it was first declared “OAKtober” in 2015. The purpose of OAKtober is to bring attention to the importance of oak trees, which clean our air and water, reduce air temperature and energy usage, and provide habitat for wildlife. Oak trees are strong and majestic and create a sense of place wherever they are. The White Oak is the Illinois State Tree. The Natural Land Institute will host two events to celebrate OAKtober, a Fall Prairie Harvest Day and an OAKtober hike. See the events section below for details.

Celebrate OAKtober with the Natural Land Institute! 

[Image description: Hikers at the OAKtober Hike walk through a remnant dolomite hill prairie while surrounded by oak trees. Photo by Jill Kennay.]

My View Photo Perspective Hike


Nature At The Confluence is launching “My View Photo Perspective Hike”, which challenges people of all ages and photographic abilities to take photos of the same subject with their own unique perspective, and then share them on Facebook or Instagram using the #myviewhike hashtag. You can upload as many photos as you like! If you do not use Facebook or Instagram, you can email and they will upload the photo/s for you. This activity runs from September 15 to November 15, 2021. Participants can pick up a map at Nature At The Confluence to find the five photo stops.

[Image Description: the left side of the image shows a young woman holding up a camera. The right side of the image has an orange background and the words "My View Photo Perspective Hike. 1. take photos at our 5 Photo Perspective Points, 2. Post your photos using the hashtag #myviewhike or email to" are written in black.]

October Outdoor Events Calendar

[Image description: photo of the woods at Hononegah Forest Preserve]

Weekly| Stewardship Days with the Natural Land Institute | Tuesday-Saturday | learn more here

Weekly | Fall on the Farm at Lockwood Park | Saturdays 10am-4pm | both paid and free activities, more information here
Saturday, October 2nd: 9am-1pm | Fall Prairie Harvest Day with the Natural Land Institute | please RSVP here

Saturday, October 2nd: 3-4pm | Short Hike at Macktown Forest Preserve with 815 Outside | free, please RSVP here

Wednesday, October 6th: 12-2pm | Long Hike at Pecatonica River Forest Preserve | free, please RSVP here
[Image description: a group standing in the woods for a Conservation Crew Workday]
Saturday, October 9th: 9am-12pm | Conservation Crew Work Day at Severson Dells | more information here

Tuesday, October 12th: 5-6:30pm | Geology Hike at Severson Dells | small fee required, RSVP here

Saturday, October 16th: 2-4pm | Geocaching Hike at Severson Dells | please free, RSVP here

Saturday, October 16th: 5-7pm | In the Outdoors: Tree Trunk or Treat | free, please RSVP here

Wednesday, October 20th: 6-8:30pm | Full Moon Hike at Severson Dells | small fee required, RSVP here
[Image description: a woman sitting on a horse in front of a field]
Saturday, October 23rd: 10am-12pm | Trail Ride at Seward Bluffs Forest Preserve | small fee required, RSVP here

Saturday, October 23rd: 6-8pm | Spook the Dells at Severson Dells | free, please RSVP here

Sunday, October 24th: 2-4pm | 815 Outside Bike Trip Along the Stone Bridge Trail | free, please RSVP here

Monday, October 25th: 9am-12pm | Conservation Crew Work Day at Severson Dells| more information here

Wednesday, October 27th: 4-5:30pm | Hike at Levings Park | free, please RSVP here

Saturday, October 30th: 1:30-3pm | OAKtober Hike with the Natural Land Institute | small fee required, please RSVP here
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