2018 Special Exhibit

From Rail to Trail

From Rail to Trail

Open April 7–Dec 28 during regular open hours

The new Kickapoo Rail Trail has a fascinating history of uses, from the transport of goods along the CSX railroad, to public transport along a parallel electric train line called the InterUrban, to the current multi-use trail. Come explore this new exhibit to learn more!

Special Exhibit

Journey Stories

2018 Journey Stories Exhibit

Open September 1 - September 29 during Regular open hours

We all have a powerful journey story – what’s yours? Journey Stories is an educational poster exhibit that explores how movement has shaped the nation. It takes a broad look at American expansion and migration, from the earliest European settlers and Native American displacement, to the effects of transportation advancements on modern mobility. Teachers: discussion questions for classrooms are also available.

Smithsonian Institute

This exhibit is part of our Welcoming Week celebrations in September!

Journey Stories is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Ongoing Exhibits

The Grand Prairie

The Grand Prairie

The Grand Prairie region in Illinois spans over 30 counties and was formerly occupied primarily by tallgrass prairie, marshes, potholes, and woodlands along the rivers. This vast plain, shaped by glaciers and maintained by fire, is now one of the most important agricultural areas in the world. Explore the history of this landscape and its peoples when you visit the Center!

Life on the Prairie

Life on the Prairie

Delve deeper into the unique story of the Grand Prairie, the landscape the settlers first encountered, and the Forest Preserve District’s methods for maintaining remnants of this unique habitat on our sites. And encounter the success stories of once-rare species in Illinois, such as bald eagles, river otters, and sandhill cranes.

Homer Lake's Wildlife

Box turtle

Enjoy our aquariums with live turtles a catfish, watch birds and wildlife at the feeders from the comfort of an indoor bench, and learn about the wildlife that call Homer Lake home.