By Daily Journal staff report

Forest preserve holding Hummingbird Fest celebration

Tiny hummingbirds will be celebrated during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s third annual Hummingbird Festival & Nature Celebration.

The free, all-ages event is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. From 3 to 5 p.m., members of Thorn Creek Audubon Society and Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders will capture and band hummingbirds while spectators watch the activity on a big screen.

“The fest has something to offer for a variety of audiences,” said Suzy Lyttle, a forest preserve interpretive naturalist. “The grand finale is the hummingbird banding, which everyone — young and old — absolutely loves.”

The festival includes artisanal vendors, free bike rides, slacklining, tree climbing, crafts, hummingbird activities and the Musical Petting Zoo by Plum Grove Strings.

This year’s event also includes blown glass demonstrations, insect and snake displays, a hummingbird activity trail, “jam sessions” with buckthorn branches, a “seed bomb” creation station and a nature-themed art exhibit by Frankfort artist Richard Schmidt.

Three seminars will be offered: All about Composting at 1:30 p.m., Nature Photography Tips at 2 p.m. and Bird Tracking with eBird at 2:30 p.m. The seminars will take place in a tent behind the nature center.

Hay bales will be set up in lecture-style seating, but attendees are welcome to bring their own camping chairs. Registration is not required.

For more information on butterfly, bee and pollinator garden programs and how to get free milkweed seeds, visit

Celebrate fire safety with Smokey Bear

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will host a fire safety awareness program for all ages in honor of Smokey Bear’s 75 years in fire safety from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Midewin Welcome Center, 30239 S. State Route 53, Wilmington.

There will be activities for kids, who can earn a Smokey Bear’s Partner Certificate. Smokey Bear movies also will be shown on the big screen on the Midewin. Smokey Bear actually was a bear born on Aug. 9, 1944.

For more information or to RSVP, call 815-423-6370.

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