Severson Dells Nature Center

Severson Dells Nature Center Severson Dells Nature Center Severson Dells Nature Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit. More than 17,000 people take part in a program through the center each year.

Operating as usual

We've been having fun exploring the wonder of the natural world in autumn with visiting school children. Cherry Valley e...
10/14/2021

We've been having fun exploring the wonder of the natural world in autumn with visiting school children. Cherry Valley elementary students got creative on their field trip and created a beautiful nature installation on one of our park benches.

We've been having fun exploring the wonder of the natural world in autumn with visiting school children. Cherry Valley elementary students got creative on their field trip and created a beautiful nature installation on one of our park benches.

We have some amazing Americorps opportunities available at Severson Dells Nature Center! 815 Outside CoordinatorCommunit...
10/14/2021

We have some amazing Americorps opportunities available at Severson Dells Nature Center!
815 Outside Coordinator
Community Science & Restoration Volunteer Support
Environmental Education
Natural Resource Management @ Severson Dells
To learn more and to apply, visit https://www.seversondells.com/americorps-opportunities

We have some amazing Americorps opportunities available at Severson Dells Nature Center!
815 Outside Coordinator
Community Science & Restoration Volunteer Support
Environmental Education
Natural Resource Management @ Severson Dells
To learn more and to apply, visit https://www.seversondells.com/americorps-opportunities

Join us for a special hike just for members of Severson Dells Nature Center this Saturday. Register for the hike on our ...
10/13/2021
Members Only Hike — Severson Dells Nature Center

Join us for a special hike just for members of Severson Dells Nature Center this Saturday. Register for the hike on our website: https://www.seversondells.com/events/membersonlyhike-oct16-2021

If you aren't a member yet, consider becoming one so that you can start enjoying the benefits! https://www.seversondells.com/become-a-member

Whether you are a new member or a lifelong member, this hike is for you! Enjoy an autumn morning on the trails with our staff and learn more about what’s going on at Severson Dells. Free event for members!

What do native bees do in the winter? Learn more about bee nesting habits in our latest blog. #pollinators
10/13/2021
When the Cold Winds Blow, Where Does the Bee Go? — Severson Dells Nature Center

What do native bees do in the winter? Learn more about bee nesting habits in our latest blog.
#pollinators

As I’m sure we have all noticed, it is officially fall! While that means bonfires and sweaters for us, bumblebees are getting ready for winter in their own way. You may have wondered what happens to bees when cold weather comes. Do they all die? Hibernate? Fly south for the winter? Snuggle up by t...

Another exceptional and educational blog by Cindy Crosby about the Bell Bowl Prairie. Click here to learn more about rem...
10/12/2021
Saving Bell Bowl Prairie

Another exceptional and educational blog by Cindy Crosby about the Bell Bowl Prairie. Click here to learn more about remnant prairies and why they are so important for biodiversity.

“Given the fragile nature of landscapes with high natural quality, there is no substitute for their preservation and proper management. No amount of de novo restoration can obviate concern ov…

“Movement, change, light, growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energies that I I try to tap through my work...
10/08/2021

“Movement, change, light, growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energies that I I try to tap through my work. I need the shock of touch, the resistance of place, materials and weather, the earth as my source. Nature is in a state of change and that change is the key to understanding. I want my art to be sensitive and alert to changes in material, season and weather. Each work grows, stays, decays. Process and decay are implicit. Transience in my work reflects what I find in nature.”
— Andy Goldsworthy

Have you had a chance to share your opinion about saving the Bell Bowl Prairie yet? It only takes a minute to make a dif...
10/08/2021
Click to Save the Bell Bowl Prairie!

Have you had a chance to share your opinion about saving the Bell Bowl Prairie yet? It only takes a minute to make a difference.

Contact Governor Pritzker to let him know how important this historic remnant prairie is to the biodiversity of our state and to Rockford.

"Every leaf speaksbliss to me, fluttering fromthe autumn tree."- Emily Brönte
10/06/2021

"Every leaf speaks
bliss to me, fluttering from
the autumn tree."
- Emily Brönte

"Every leaf speaks
bliss to me, fluttering from
the autumn tree."
- Emily Brönte

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Happy World Teachers Day! We are so grateful to teachers and educators who give the...
10/05/2021

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Happy World Teachers Day! We are so grateful to teachers and educators who give their time, talent, and love to educate the next generation! You are deeply appreciated.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Happy World Teachers Day! We are so grateful to teachers and educators who give their time, talent, and love to educate the next generation! You are deeply appreciated.

In this workshop, you learn how to make your very own pair of moccasins so you can walk closer to the earth. Registratio...
10/04/2021
Moccasin Workshop — Severson Dells Nature Center

In this workshop, you learn how to make your very own pair of moccasins so you can walk closer to the earth. Registrations are due by October 9 to secure materials.

Saturday, November 6 |  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. When going barefoot isn’t an option, you can still connect with the Earth and get the same benefits wearing simple leather moccasins.  Come spend a day with us making your own Ojibwe pucker-toed moccasins that can aid you on your Grou

Need a little humor for your day? One of our volunteers shared this hilarious satirical piece with us.
10/03/2021
Behold, I Have Returned from a Hike

Need a little humor for your day? One of our volunteers shared this hilarious satirical piece with us.

Gaze upon my photos and weep.

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Stop out at The Grove Nature Playscape at Severson Dells to see our new ha...
10/02/2021

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Stop out at The Grove Nature Playscape at Severson Dells to see our new hammock village! The sturdy posts are made from black locust trees which are invasive to this area but make for great building materials in the playground, as they are rot-resistant.

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Stop out at The Grove Nature Playscape at Severson Dells to see our new hammock village! The sturdy posts are made from black locust trees which are invasive to this area but make for great building materials in the playground, as they are rot-resistant.

It only takes a minute to support the remnant Bell Bowl Prairie. Please add your name.
10/01/2021
Click to Save the Bell Bowl Prairie!

It only takes a minute to support the remnant Bell Bowl Prairie. Please add your name.

Contact Governor Pritzker to let him know how important this historic remnant prairie is to the biodiversity of our state and to Rockford.

Welcome to Oaktober! To kick off this month of oak appreciation, check out our latest blog to learn more about the oaks ...
10/01/2021
Welcome to Oaktober: Celebrating the Almighty Oaks — Severson Dells Nature Center

Welcome to Oaktober! To kick off this month of oak appreciation, check out our latest blog to learn more about the oaks of Illinois.

Do you love oaks as much as we do? Share a picture of your favorite oak in the comments below for our Oaktober photo contest. The winner will be chosen on October 27th and receive a special prize. Details can be found on the bottom of the webpage.

Bob Ross once said in his consistently gentle cadence, “There is nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend,” as he proceeded to paint a happy, little tree. If you are reading this nature center blog, you are probably in wholehearted agreement. You likely even have a favorite tree or two here ...

Happy last day of September!"That September pairing of purple and gold is lived reciprocity; its wisdom is that the beau...
09/30/2021

Happy last day of September!

"That September pairing of purple and gold is lived reciprocity; its wisdom is that the beauty of one is illuminated by the radiance of the other. Science and art, matter and spirit, indigenous knowledge and Western science—can they be goldenrod and asters for each other? When I am in their presence, their beauty asks me for reciprocity, to be the complementary color, to make something beautiful in response." - Robin Wall Kimmerer

Happy last day of September!

"That September pairing of purple and gold is lived reciprocity; its wisdom is that the beauty of one is illuminated by the radiance of the other. Science and art, matter and spirit, indigenous knowledge and Western science—can they be goldenrod and asters for each other? When I am in their presence, their beauty asks me for reciprocity, to be the complementary color, to make something beautiful in response." - Robin Wall Kimmerer

Celebrate Oaktober with Severson Dells 🍂 Golden Hour in The Grove Photo Gallery, Dance at the Dells video, Oaktober Phot...
09/29/2021

Celebrate Oaktober with Severson Dells 🍂 Golden Hour in The Grove Photo Gallery, Dance at the Dells video, Oaktober Photo contest, upcoming programs and more! - https://mailchi.mp/c3b12094474d/join-us-for-music-and-nature-programs-for-everyone-in-10446520

Celebrate Oaktober with Severson Dells 🍂 Golden Hour in The Grove Photo Gallery, Dance at the Dells video, Oaktober Photo contest, upcoming programs and more! - https://mailchi.mp/c3b12094474d/join-us-for-music-and-nature-programs-for-everyone-in-10446520

What an amazing evening for our first Golden Hour in The Grove! Thank you to all who helped make it such a special event...
09/28/2021

What an amazing evening for our first Golden Hour in The Grove! Thank you to all who helped make it such a special event benefitting nature education. Enjoy these gorgeous photographs of the event by the talented Alizé Jireh. To see all the photos in the gallery, visit: https://galleries.page.link/Rfzmp

If you were not able to attend but would still like to contribute to our 45th anniversary celebration, you can do so online: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/severson-dells-educational-foundation/golden-hour-in-the-grove

We are grateful to Kervin Thomas, aka Traveling Macco,  for beautifully filming Dance at the Dells. If you missed the ev...
09/26/2021
Dance at the Dells, Year Three — Severson Dells Nature Center

We are grateful to Kervin Thomas, aka Traveling Macco, for beautifully filming Dance at the Dells. If you missed the event, see the footage here: www.seversondells.com/blog/dance-at-the-dells-year-3

It’s been three years since sisters Meghan and Caitlyn Baylor came to us with the idea of creating a site-specific dance for the public at Severson Dells Nature Center. Intrigued, we eagerly agreed. Since that first year, we have been awed by the beautiful performances of the dancers interacting w...

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Golden Hour at The Grove tonight. It was such a lovely evening of longtime...
09/26/2021

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Golden Hour at The Grove tonight. It was such a lovely evening of longtime friends and new ones! If you couldn’t make it, but still want to contribute to our 45th anniversary celebration, you can make a gift online: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/severson-dells-educational-foundation/golden-hour-in-the-grove

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Golden Hour at The Grove tonight. It was such a lovely evening of longtime friends and new ones! If you couldn’t make it, but still want to contribute to our 45th anniversary celebration, you can make a gift online: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/severson-dells-educational-foundation/golden-hour-in-the-grove

Thank you!

09/25/2021

Happy National Public Lands Day! Do you have a particular place that has stolen your heart? Tell us about your favorite public lands in the comments below!

We will be planting acorns at Funderburg Forest Preserve for our next Restoration Workday on Monday, 9/27 from 9AM-12PM....
09/24/2021

We will be planting acorns at Funderburg Forest Preserve for our next Restoration Workday on Monday, 9/27 from 9AM-12PM. Contact [email protected] for the meeting location!

We will be planting acorns at Funderburg Forest Preserve for our next Restoration Workday on Monday, 9/27 from 9AM-12PM. Contact [email protected] for the meeting location!

The Grove Nature Playscape will be closed this Saturday starting at 2 pm for an event. Our trails and Nature Center are ...
09/24/2021

The Grove Nature Playscape will be closed this Saturday starting at 2 pm for an event. Our trails and Nature Center are open, so come out to celebrate National Public Lands Day on our trails.

The Grove Nature Playscape will be closed this Saturday starting at 2 pm for an event. Our trails and Nature Center are open, so come out to celebrate National Public Lands Day on our trails.

Thanks to Toni Vander Heyden of Sold On Toni, Keller Williams Realty Signature  for highlighting Severson Dells Nature C...
09/23/2021
Toni Talks: Ann Wasser - Severson Dells Nature Center

Thanks to Toni Vander Heyden of Sold On Toni, Keller Williams Realty Signature for highlighting Severson Dells Nature Center and the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County in this great, little video! Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl0Qo0fSiTQ

If you are interested in tickets for Golden Hour in The Grove, you can still get them on our website: https://www.seversondells.com/goldenhour

Join Toni Vander Heyden and Ann Wasser from Severson Dells Nature Center as they talk about the many health benefits of enjoying nature as well as what our c...

Enjoy the smell of the fall air and the crunch of the leaves underfoot as we walk among the beautiful colors of fall at ...
09/23/2021
Fall Colors Hike: Hononegah Forest Preserve — Severson Dells Nature Center

Enjoy the smell of the fall air and the crunch of the leaves underfoot as we walk among the beautiful colors of fall at Hononegah Forest Preserve. The hike is on Wednesday, September 29th at 5:30 p.m. Registration is required. $3/Member, $5/General Admission: https://www.seversondells.com/events/fallcolorhike2021-hononegah

 Enjoy the smell of the fall air and the crunch of the leaves under foot as we walk among the beautiful colors of fall. Registration is required. $3/Member, $5/General Admission

09/23/2021

There is a Rockford Airport Authority Board meeting tomorrow, Sep. 23 at 5pm. The agenda includes a public comment section.

We urge anyone who is interested to attend and consider speaking to support the preservation Bell Bowl Prairie.

Construction should continue to be paused until the road that is planned to run through one of the last remaining remnant prairies in Illinois is re-routed!

Need more info or want one of these yard signs, contact us.

#remnantprairie #conservation #savebellbowl #georgefell #illinois

Happy Autumnal Equinox! The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, “night.” On the equinox, d...
09/22/2021

Happy Autumnal Equinox! The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, “night.” On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in length.

During the equinox, the Sun crosses the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line. When the Sun crosses the equator from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox; when it crosses from south to north, this marks the vernal equinox.

Happy Autumnal Equinox! The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, “night.” On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in length.

During the equinox, the Sun crosses the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line. When the Sun crosses the equator from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox; when it crosses from south to north, this marks the vernal equinox.

Happy International Peace Day!
09/21/2021

Happy International Peace Day!

Happy International Peace Day!

Get your game tickets for Golden Hour in the Grove this Saturday! Wine Pull and Restaurant Row feature the opportunity t...
09/20/2021

Get your game tickets for Golden Hour in the Grove this Saturday! Wine Pull and Restaurant Row feature the opportunity to win exclusive wines from Artale Wine Co. and local restaurant gift cards.

For the Wine Pull, an Advance ticket for $20 gives you a ticket to win a bottle of wine valued at at least $22. Some wines, like the premium brands in this picture, range from $50-97! What an amazing deal! Tickets are almost sold out for the event this Saturday. Get your event tickets and advance game tickets today! (You must have a ticket for the event to play the games).
https://secure.givelively.org/event/severson-dells-educational-foundation/golden-hour-in-the-grove/golden-hour-in-the-grove

Get your game tickets for Golden Hour in the Grove this Saturday! Wine Pull and Restaurant Row feature the opportunity to win exclusive wines from Artale Wine Co. and local restaurant gift cards.

For the Wine Pull, an Advance ticket for $20 gives you a ticket to win a bottle of wine valued at at least $22. Some wines, like the premium brands in this picture, range from $50-97! What an amazing deal! Tickets are almost sold out for the event this Saturday. Get your event tickets and advance game tickets today! (You must have a ticket for the event to play the games).
https://secure.givelively.org/event/severson-dells-educational-foundation/golden-hour-in-the-grove/golden-hour-in-the-grove

There is so much to explore in the natural world. We keep pretty busy here at the Nature Center. Check out a week in the...
09/20/2021
Photos of the Week — Severson Dells Nature Center

There is so much to explore in the natural world. We keep pretty busy here at the Nature Center. Check out a week in the life in pictures and see what we have been up to.

We thought it would be nice to share with you a sampler of what’s happening at Severson Dells each week…in photos. Highlights this week are from our two homeschool programs, a public program about insects, the adventures of a troop of Girl Scouts, and some lovely scenes from the property as we e...

Tomorrow- Saturday September 18th- is final REAP workday of the summer! These volunteer workdays focus on Restoration, E...
09/17/2021
R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workday (Restoration.Education.Appreciation.Preservation.) Winnebago Forest

Tomorrow- Saturday September 18th- is final REAP workday of the summer! These volunteer workdays focus on Restoration, Education, Appreciation and Preservation, and they combine a little stewardship with a lot of learning and fun! This month, we will be meeting out at Funderburg Forest Preserve next to Severson Dells to plant greenhouse plugs. We will meet at Funderburg (7558 Montague Road, Rockford, IL) at 9am, and after a bit of planting, we will take guided group hike to learn more about the plants and animals of this preserve, until about noon! This is a wonderful way to support Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and our gorgeous public lands.

Funderburg Forest Preserve’s 868.6 acres provides valuable wildlife habitat and is home to a variety of plant species and numerous species of birds. Located adjacent to Severson Dells Forest Preserve and also connecting to the Byron Forest Preserve District’s Howard Coleman Hall Creek Preserve a...

Address

8786 Montague Rd
Rockford, IL
61102

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8am - 4:30pm
Thursday 8am - 4:30pm
Friday 8am - 4:30pm
Saturday 8am - 4:30pm
Sunday 1pm - 4:30pm

Telephone

(815) 335-2915

Products

Field trips, hikes, lectures, readings, music, newsletters, birdwatching, wildflower walks, travelogues, seminars and other nature-related programs.

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Videos

Our Story

The Nature Center is located on the grounds of the Severson Dells Forest Preserve. We provide nature education for all ages in northern Illinois. Join us for one of the many programs we offer, be it a guided hike, a scout program, summer camp or everyone’s annual favorite event the Luminaria.

Unplug and connect at Severson Dells!

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Comments

What's the exciting new plan for the trail that goes uphill west of the creek bridge? Nice (unexpected) soft dirt today, looks like hopefully water erosion control and less rocks? And will the north prairie (that abuts now un-runnable Land Institute property) be maintained this summer? Loving my quiet and serene FP❤
We have squirrels doing cleanup
That hits the spot!
Loved tonight’s walk. First we got our dose of yoga! Thanks Greg!
Oh, dear... I hope you can see the above annotated photo of the Bald Eagle Nest.
I tried to add some annotation to the above pic, with an arrow, but apologize for the dim red font color that was my choice.
Can you identify these birds? They were in my tree doing a mating thing lol and I wanted to make sure I called them by their right name when I post :)
Have you ever wondered if cultivars serve the same purpose as natives in your garden? Does it really matter if you plant one or the other? I have often wondered this, and today I found this wonderful blog post that answers that question: https://www.possibilityplace.com/blog/2017/10/small-window-using-native-or-cultivar-pollinators Check it out.
David Olson's Nature photography presentation last night at Severson Dells Nature center. On an evening we set cold temperatures recorded here in Northern Illinois the hearty birders and nature lovers of our area showed up in good numbers to see David's program "Its in your Nature" a large screen surround sound audio visual show. Guests were treated to over 250 of David's images from the past years travels. They learned about his techniques and amazing stories from his expeditions in the wild. Thanks to all that attended !
We saw such wonderful things
We love this beautiful park!