We are excited to see you! For the safety of all, our policies follow public health department guidelines. Before coming out to visit us, please remember the following:
· Check with your group to see if anyone has symptoms; if anyone is showing signs of sickness or had contact with anyone confirmed to have covid, stay home
· Masks are required at all times inside the Homer Lake Interpretive Center
· No more than 10 visitors are allowed inside the Center at any one time
· Visitors must sanitize their hands when they enter the building; hand sanitizer is provided
Current Hours: Tues-Fri, 1-5pm
(until further notice; dates/times subject to change)
Experiences and Programs
We remain committed to creating experiences of engagement and exploration. Contact us to explore options for virtual experiences for your group or classroom. Check our Facebook page and the CCFPD event webpage for announcements of things to do throughout the Preserves, as well as virtual experiences we are offering to the general public. Also check out our YouTube channel.
Covid Guidelines for In-person Programs
We are excited to offer limited in-person outdoor programs! The health and safety of our staff and participants are our first priorities.
Our staff takes everyone's safety seriously and we have planned activities and procedures that follow current safety recommendations from the CDC and IDPH.
By signing up for in-person programs, guardians/participants are expected to follow the guidelines developed by CCFPD. More details are provided in the Covid Guidelines and Waiver for In-person Programs document.
We appreciate your help in keeping everyone safe by following these guidelines.
Your Forest Preserves are Open!
As always, your Forest Preserve lands are still open! All Homer Lake vault toilets, playgrounds, and the Natural Playscape are open. *Note that the Walnut Hill shelter restrooms and the Natural Playscape stream are turned off for the winter season. Please be sure to follow public health guidelines when visiting the Preserves.
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.
After visiting the Center, be sure to stop by the Natural Playscape.
Come see what we have to offer! For more information, call 217-896-2455 or email email@example.com.
Our regular hours are reduced due to COVID-19. Please note statement above regarding the Interpretive Center's current hours.
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 all the awesome new nature videos we've produced this year! CCFPD YouTube Channel
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 Pam Leiter or call (217) 896-2455.
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.