Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

 
Visit Hickory Knolls Discovery Center for exciting indoor and outdoor exhibits. Hickory Knolls sits on 131 acres of restored woodlands, wetlands and prairies. Inside, visitors will meet live animals, including endangered Blanding’s turtles; see the nature mural that depicts four ecosystems and is filled with hidden animals; watch birds at the feeders outside; see exhibits on the Ice Age, geology, Native Americans, and more; and learn about plants in the native gardens. Stroll along 3+ miles of hiking trails to discover different ecosystems among the hills, ponds and grassy areas.
 
Contact Info
Address: 3795 Campton Hills Rd., St. Charles, IL 60175. Kane County.
 
Tel: 630-513-4399.
 
 
 
Hrs: Tues.-Sat. 10AM-4PM, Sun. 12PM-4PM.
 
SCHOOLS
Preschoolers through Grade 12 can enjoy an outdoor or classroom experience to learn about native animals, plants and seeds, forest ecology, earth science, habitat components and more. Programs might involve a short nature hike or hands-on activities like dissecting seeds, looking for insects and macroinvertebrates, investigating parts of a forest, testing the properties of rocks, identifying plants, or trying Native American activities like grinding corn. Students may also explore the Center’s three distinct habitats (woodlands, wetlands and prairies) while learning about local flora and fauna. All programs align with state and national education standards.
 
 
Contact Info
Contact: Lisa O’Brien, 630-513-4347, hickoryknolls@stcparks.org.
 
Trip Info
Grade Level: All grades.
 
Group Size: Varies.
 
Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Tours, Guided Activities.
 
Recomm. Length of Visit: 45 minutes-4 hours.
 
Recomm. Ratio of Students to Staff: Varies.
 
Registration: Phone, Email.
 
Food Options: Picnic area available.
 
Cost: Fee.
 
SUPPORTS CLASSROOM LEARNING IN: Environmental Studies, Science.
Topics Covered: animals, ecology, geology, hiking, Native Americans, plants.
 
SCOUTS
Scouts can enjoy guided programs, designed to address badge requirements. They might have an indoor science lesson, meet some of the animals at Hickory Knolls, learn about recycling and green energy, go hiking with a map and compass, or investigate signs of animals and watch for wildlife.
 
 
Contact Info
Contact: Laura McCoy, 630-513-4393, hickoryknolls@stcparks.org.
 
Trip Info
Grade Level: K-6th.
 
Group Size: Varies.
 
Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Tours, Self-Guided Activities, Guided Activities.
 
Recomm. Length of Visit: 1 hour.
 
Recomm. Ratio of Scouts to Staff: n/a.
 
Registration: Phone, Email.
 
Food Options: Picnic area available.
 
Cost: Fee.
 
SUPPORTS SCOUT BADGES IN: Physical Education, Science.
Topics Covered: animals, forestry, hiking, orienteering, recycling, science.

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