May 20, 2024

Calendar: All about Bats

AROMA PARK, Ill. — Are you afraid of bats? You shouldn’t be. Bats are an amazing animal to have in your backyard. In fact, you should encourage them to come.

A morning of family fun — and bats — will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 22 at Shannon Bayou, 3301 Waldron Road, Aroma Park.

Led by Kankakee County Master Gardener Coordinator Holly Froning and the Kankakee Valley Forest Preserve District, Family Day at Shannon Bayou is a great place to learn all about bats, complete some great activities, and have fun with the whole family.

Register for this free event at

Easy Preserving

MT. ZION, Ill. — The program Preserving Made Easy will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Mt. Zion District Library, 115 W. Main St., Mt. Zion.

Learn the basics of food preservation, including canning, freezing, drying, and fermenting. Participants will make a jar of sauerkraut to take home and ferment.

Register in-person or by calling the library at 217-864-3622.

Tree Walk

PANA, Ill. — Join Christian County master gardeners for an afternoon at the hilltop farm of Linda Kehias, 2152 IL-16, Pana,

Participants will tour the grounds of the farm from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 22, learning about what trees you can utilize in the landscape, and avoiding the pitfalls of planting a tree at the wrong site.

Register for this free event at

Wiener Roast

LEWISTOWN, Ill. — Fulton County 4-H will kick off the new 4-H year for all 4-H members, families, club leaders and volunteers at a special Fall Wiener Roast from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 22 at City Kids Camp (formerly Living Springs Camp), 14253 E. Epworth Spring Road, Lewistown.

Starting at 3 p.m. the achievement/awards ceremony will recognize the 2021-2022 4-H Award winners, and honor 4-H leaders, master gardener, and master naturalist volunteers.

There will be a fire pit available for those who want to roast their own wieners, and there will be prepared hot dogs for those who would like someone else to do the cooking.

For more information, visit

Chicken Dinner

FLORA, Ind. — The Extension Homemakers Chicken and Noodle Dinner will be at 4:30 p.m. ET Oct. 22 at the Carroll County 4-H Building, 800 E. Main St., Flora. Dine in or carry out. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 from an Extension homemaker or the Carroll County Extension office, 102 N.. 4th St., Suite B, Flora. Tickets will be $12 at the door. For more information, call 574-967-3538.

Drive-in Night

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — A free showing of “Casper” will be Oct. 24 at 4-H at the Moon Lite Drive-In, 5056 N. Lafayette St., Terre Haute.

There will be 4-H booths and activities at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the movie at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call 812-462-3371 or email

Business Basics

URBANA, Ill. — The webinar Business Structure Basics: Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms will be 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 24.

Choosing the right business structure for a farm or ranch business shouldn’t be hard. In this webinar, producers will learn how to apply straightforward decision-making factors to their situations. Farm Commons Executive Director Rachel Armstrong will discuss tax advantages and business practices, with a focus on preventing problems with good governance.

Farm Commons is a national nonprofit organization specializing in legal education for farmers.

Register online at

Achievement Night

ALBION, Ill. — The annual Edwards County 4-H Achievement Night will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at the COUNTRY Financial Hall, 1 N. 5th St., Albion. 4-H youth, leaders, and clubs will be honored for their accomplishments during the 2021-2022 4-H year.

Plant Trials

URBANA, Ill. — Champaign County master gardeners and University of Illinois Extension will present the online program Proving Their Worth: Plant Evaluation Trials at Chicago Botanic Garden from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25.

Richard Hawke, director of ornamental plant research at the Chicago Botanic Garden, will discuss the criteria for evaluating perennial plants in the trials, and which plants are proving to be the best in regard to beauty, reliability, and hardiness for our climate in Illinois.

Register at

Awards Banquet

CORYDON, Ind. — 4-H Awards Banquet and 4-H Council elections will be at 5:30 p.m. ET Oct. 25 at the Harrison County Fairgrounds Windell Ag Building, 341 S. Capitol Ave., Corydon.

Dinner will be catered by Schnitzelbank. RSVP by calling 812-738-4236.

Agroforestry 101

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Agroforestry 101: How Trees Can Support Illinois Farms and Landscapes will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 26.

This webinar will focus on agroforestry practices that are perfectly suited for farm landscapes across Illinois. Using real-world examples from working lands, Kaitie Adams, Illinois community agroforester for the Savanna Institute, will cover how to incorporate trees and perennials onto your landscape for conservation, profit, and beauty through multi-functional windbreaks, hedgerows, alley cropping, and riparian buffers. Savanna Institute provides opportunities for technical advising, resource connection, and implementation options for farmers and landowners.

Register at

Native Plants

HILLSBORO, Ill. — The program Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Montgomery County Extension office, 1 Industrial Park Drive, Hillsboro.

Learn about native alternatives to common invasive landscape plants, the benefits of native plants, and ways to get involved. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger will review native plants that serve as food for butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals.

The program also will be availalble online. Register at

Mummy Cats

CORYDON, Ind. — Make your own stuffed plush mummy cat and sarcophagus at the Mummy Cat Workshop from 7 to 8 p.m. ET Oct. 27 at the Harrison County Extension office, 247 Atwood St., Corydon. No actual cats will be present. Register by calling 812-738-4236.

Explore the Night Sky

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — The program Explore the Night Sky will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Morgan County Extension office, 104 N. Westgate Ave., Jacksonville.

This hands-on seminar/activity will allow attendees to learn how to look for planets and identify constellations. Several telescopes will be available for viewing. The program will have an outdoor component, so people should dress for late October weather. If the weather won’t allow viewing, the indoor portion of the program will still be offered.

Register at For more information, contact Duane Friend at 217-243-7424 or

Happy Hour Hike

MAHOMET, Ill. — The East Central Illinois Master Naturalists and Champaign County Climate Coalition will host a Happy Hour Hike from 5 to 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at Buffalo Trace Prairie at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 109 S. Lake of the Woods Road, Mahomet. There is no registration necessary, just swing by the meeting location at 5 p.m. After the Happy Hour Hike, folks are invited to head over to Green Drinks in Urbana. Halloween costumes encouraged for this hike and Green Drinks.

Happy Hour Hikes are held on the final Friday of the month. These meet-ups are designed to be low-key opportunities to enjoy a walk and talk with conservation-minded folks in our region. Whether you are just getting curious about our local environment or it is your full-time job, anyone is welcome to join. You will be in the company of others who enjoy sustainability and climate-related activities and conversation.

For more information, visit the Champaign County Climate Coalition Facebook Page, or call 217-333-7672.

4-H Spooktacular

BLUFFTON, Ind. — Join Wells County 4-H for the third annual 4-H Fall Spooktacular from 5 to 9 p.m. ET Oct. 29 at the Wells County 4-H Park, 1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton. There will be a spooky forest for older kids and adults from 7 to 9 p.m.