Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens

 
Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens aims to connect its visitors to nature through its 85-acre park that includes woodlands, prairie, wetlands, gardens, and a 10-acre man-made lake. Follow trails around the Cal-Sag Channel, see various plant species and wildlife in the garden, tour exhibits in the nature center, and explore the Children’s Forest, with its children’s play area. Hands-on, naturalist-led programs are available, which allow school, scout, and homeschool groups to learn about nature as they explore the wildlife and beauty of Lake Katherine’s facility and gardens.
 
 
Contact Info
Address: 7402 W. Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights, Illinois 60463. Cook County. 
 
Tel: 708-361-1873.
 
 
 
Hrs: Park - Daily, Dawn to Dusk, Nature Center - Mon.-Fri. 9AM-5PM, Sat. 10AM-4PM.
 
SCHOOLS
Field trips to Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens give students the opportunity to interact with and reflect on nature while learning good stewardship practices. Naturalist-led educational programs incorporate a range of hands-on activities, which include owl-pellet dissections, exploring the habitats of Lake Katherine on scavenger hunts, planting seeds, examining specimens from the lake with magnifiers and a dissecting scope, and more. In November, students can participate in a fun Thanksgiving-themed program during which they will make and taste their own butter, play games from the past, and more. Teachers are welcome to utilize Lake Katherine for their own self-guided programs in the event that guided field trips aren’t available. Learn more about school field trips at Lake Katherine
 
Contact Info
Contact: Marian Sinkus, Educator/Naturalist, marian.sinkus@lakekatherine.org.
 
Trip Info 
Grade Level: PreK-6th.
 
Group Size: Varies.
 
Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Activities, Self-Guided Activities.
 
Recomm. Length of Visit: 1.5-3 hours.
 
Recomm. Ratio of Students to Staff: Varies.
 
Registration: Phone, Email. 
 
Food Options: N/A.
 
Cost: Fee.
 
SUPPORTS CLASSROOM LEARNING IN: Environmental Studies.
Topics Covered: Science, stewardship, sustainability, biology, animal science, habitats.
 
SCOUTS
Boy and Girl Scout programs at Lake Katherine provide opportunities for troops to carry out badge requirements, specific rankings, and service projects. There are also opportunities for Eagle Scout Service Projects and Girl Scout Gold Award projects. Scout troops are also welcome to tour the park self-guided. Scout groups of 15 or more should call ahead before visiting and are required to check in at the nature center. Learn more about scout programs
 
Contact Info
Contact: Marian Sinkus, marian.sinkus@lakekatherine.org.
 
Trip Info 
Grade Level: PreK-12th.
 
Group Size: Varies.
 
Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Activities, Self-Guided Activities.
 
Recomm. Length of Visit: 1.5-3 hours.
 
Recomm. Ratio of Scouts to Staff: Varies.
 
Registration: Phone, Email. 
 
Food Options: N/A.
 
Cost: Fee.
 
SUPPORTS SCOUT BADGES IN: Communications, Environmental Science.
Topics Covered: Service learning, organization skills, leadership, networking skills, outdoor skills, science, nature, stewardship, sustainability, biology, animal science, habitats.
 
HOMESCHOOL
Homeschool Days at Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens allow homeschoolers to participate in preselected hands-on environmental studies programs. Held on select days throughout the year, each Homeschool Day focuses on a different aspect of nature such as bird migration, photosynthesis, and more. Homeschool groups of 10 or more can request their own field trip program. Learn more about upcoming Homeschool Days
 
Contact Info
Contact: Marian Sinkus, Educator/Naturalist, 708-361-1873.
 
Trip Info 
Grade Level: K-6th.
 
Group Size: Varies.
 
Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Activities, Self-Guided Activities.
 
Recomm. Length of Visit: 1.5-3 hours.
 
Recomm. Ratio of Students to Staff: Varies.
 
Registration: Phone, Email. 
 
Food Options: N/A.
 
Cost: Fee.
 
Topics Covered: Science, stewardship, sustainability, biology, animal science, habitats.

Lesson Plan To Enrich This Class Trip

Nature Exploration Lesson Plan

One single tree can provide the oxygen required for two human beings and over 8,000 sheets of paper. Nature centers and state parks provide a hands-on environment to discover facts about native plants and animals, as well as ways to preserve these natural resources.... Continue