Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties

Stephenson County
Highland Community College, Bldg R
2998 W Pearl City Rd
Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-235-4125
FAX: 815-232-9006
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm

Jo Daviess County
204 Vine, PO Box 600
Elizabeth, IL 61028
Phone: 815-858-2273
FAX: 815-858-2274

SNAP Ed Office
650 North Main St
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 779-423-0982

Winnebago County
1040 North Second Street
Rockford, IL 61107
Phone: 815-986-4357
FAX: 815-986-4329

News Release

Winter Trails and Naturalist Tales explores nature in Rockford

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, February 3, 2018. Winter Trails & Naturalist Tales will be held at Atwood Environmental Center, 2685 New Milford School Road, Rockford, and includes two "naturalist tales" keynote speakers, a "winter trails" outdoor guided hike, and lunch. This year’s event will focus on winter raptors in Illinois and animal tracking.

The first naturalist tale will focus on winter raptors, eagles, hawks and owls, and all of the possibilities and probabilities they might face during winter migration. Mike Eickman, University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Volunteer and Station Master at Sand Bluff Bird Observatory, will discuss their habits, habitats and how these raptors hunt for food, and teach how to identify our winter residents and visitors.

 The second naturalist tale will be all about tracking. When you’re out exploring, or just walking in the landscape, do you notice signs and tracks for who’s been there? Peggy Doty, University of Illinois Extension Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator, will talk about tracks and tracking to help you gain a better awareness of who has been in your surroundings and to get you thinking about why they were there.

After lunch, U of I Extension Master Naturalist volunteers will lead you on a fun and educational winter ecology hike through Atwood Park. Use your new tracking skills to look for telltale signs of resident wildlife and practice identifying animal tracks, all while enjoying the serene beauty of the winter trails.

Winter Trails and Naturalist Tales costs $25 per person and includes lunch, two keynote speakers and a guided outdoor hike.  For more information or to register, visit or call (815) 986-4357. Pre-registration is required by January 31, 2018.

Source: Peggy Doty, Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship,

Local Contact: Nikki Keltner, Program Coordinator (Stephenson County),