The Homer Lake Interpretive Center, located at Homer Lake Forest Preserve, features a variety of interactive exhibits, displays, live animals and a wildlife viewing area.
The Natural Playscape is closed for the 2023 season.
Come see what we have to offer! For more information, call 217-896-2455 or email [email protected].
**Closed on federal holidays
Please note that staff may be out occasionally teaching programs. If you would like to schedule a group visit, please contact us at least two weeks in advance.
The Center is located at 2573 S Homer Lake Road, just inside the entrance to Homer Lake Forest Preserve.
Take exit 197, and turn south toward Ogden. Go straight through the four-way stop sign in Ogden. About 2 miles south of Ogden, turn right (look for a small brown sign that says ‘Homer Lake’). Take the first left. The entrance to Homer Lake Forest Preserve will be on your right about a half-mile down the road. The Interpretive Center is located just inside the entrance.
Go through St Joseph. At the four-way stop in Ogden, turn right. About 2 miles south of Ogden, turn right (look for a small brown sign that says ‘Homer Lake’). Take the first left. The entrance to Homer Lake Forest Preserve will be on your right about a half-mile down the road. The Interpretive Center is located just inside the entrance.
At the four-way stop in Ogden, turn left. About 2 miles south of Ogden, turn right (look for a small brown sign that says ‘Homer Lake’). Take the first left. The entrance to Homer Lake Forest Preserve will be on your right about a half-mile down the road. The Interpretive Center is located just inside the entrance.
Check out our nature videos on the CCFPD YouTube Channel and see the CCFPD event webpage for virtual experiences we are offering to the general public. For even more, follow us on Facebook!
Due to limited space at the Center, we request that groups contact us at least two weeks in advance of your visit.
There’s a lot to do at Homer Lake Forest Preserve!
After your day at Homer Lake, be sure to visit our partner facility, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, located at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet.
The Homer Lake Interpretive Center’s loan kits contain hands-on items to get you out hiking and exploring!
For descriptions of each kit and more information, see our Educator Resources page. Instructions are included in each kit. Some kits require a refundable deposit.
The Center is home to several animals used for educational purposes. By sponsoring one of our animals you support their care. Click here for more information.
We currently are accepting donations of birdseed (black oil sunflower seed preferred; no seed mixes with cracked corn please).
Volunteers: Visit the Education Volunteer page.
Each year, our seasonal naturalists and day camp educators help visitors connect to the amazing natural heritage of this region. For more information, see the District’s employment page, or contact Stacey Clementz or call (217) 896-2455.
The health and safety of our staff and participants are our first priorities. We follow all current safety recommendations from the CDC, IDPH, and CUPHD. Masks are optional inside the Interpretive Center as long as our community remains in the low or medium community transmission level, but will be required if transmission level moves to high. Please check back here or on our Facebook page for future updates.
We ask that you follow all CDC, IDPH, and CUPHD guidelines for isolation, quarantine, etc before coming out to visit or participating in programs.
We appreciate your help in keeping everyone healthy!
Admission is free; donations appreciated.
Free and accessible.
Click here to see our upcoming exhibits.
To safeguard you and your belongings, as well as the exhibits at the Center, certain behavior rules apply.
The Center is wheelchair accessible. Signage is accommodated where possible to persons with low vision. Tactile and audio experiences are incorporated into most exhibits. For our visitors’ convenience, an exhibit booklet is available in the office – it incorporates images and text from the exhibits in an easily accessible format. Alternate activities for some exhibits are also available in the office.