Special Request Programs

During this period of COVID-19 restrictions, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District remains committed to supporting the health of our program participants and staff.  Therefore we've changed how we deliver historical, environmental, and garden programs and events. While we can't meet in-person, we offer videos based on our programs as well as Facebook/YouTube Live! events. In some cases, we may be able to zoom in with your group for a virtual experience, or offer a learning tub you can use to enrich your own adventures.


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 for special request programs. Contact a staff member for more information.

We appreciate your help in keeping everyone safe by following these guidelines.


Program topics include, but are not limited to, those listed below. If you don't find the exact program topic that you are looking for, let us know. We are happy to work with you to design a program that fits your needs.

Environmental Program Topics

  • Trees
  • Habitats
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Mammals
  • Insects
  • Letterboxing
  • Geocaching
  • Fishing
  • Native Plants
  • Etc.

Cultural History, Museum, and Garden Program Topics

  • US History
  • Local History
  • Native Americans
  • Museums & Collections
  • Archaeology
  • Folktales
  • Letterboxing
  • Gardening
  • Etc.

Group Visits / Special Tours
CCFPD can provide educational programming and resources for your:

  • Club or special interest group
  • Boy or Girl Scout Group
  • Retirement community or senior living center
  • Church group
  • Library
  • Bus Tours, and more!
Special Note to Scout Groups:
Participation in our programs may not fulfill all requirements for a badge or patch. Scouts may need to complete additional work in their pack or troop. Scout leaders must provide their own badges, patches, pins, belt loops, or awards. Scout groups must be accompanied by adult chaperones.

Guided Hike, Museum, or Garden Tour

Guided hikes are available at all six of the preserves in the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. Contact Jennifer Wick at [email protected] to schedule a guided hike.

Guided tours of the Museum of the Grand Prairie and the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens are available at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. Contact Pat Cain at [email protected] to schedule a Museum or Garden tour.

Loan Kits

We also offer a variety of do-it-yourself resources including loan backpacks, loan kits, self-guided trail brochures, fishing poles, and more.

For more information on loan kit availability, visit Educator Resources.

Traveling Educator

Can’t make it out to one of the preserves? Let us come to you! Many programs are able to be held at locations other than the Forest Preserves. Additional fees apply for locations outside of Champaign County.

Registering and Pricing Guide

Special program requests and groups with 12 or more patrons are required to arrange visits with program staff prior to arrival. Requests for all programs, group visits, and tours must be made at least three weeks in advance.


60 to 90 minute program
$30 for up to 20 participants (+ $1.50 for each additional participant, up to 30 participants per program)

Guided Hike (45-60 minutes)
$25 for up to 20 participants ($1.50 for each additional participant, up to 30 participants per hike group)

Out of County Fees
An additional $10 will be added to program fees for out of county groups.

Guided Museum or Garden Tour (45-60 minutes)
$1.50 for each participant (maximum capacity: 50 participants per tour)

Self-Guided Group Visits:
For self-guided tours of the Museum of the Grand Prairie or Homer Lake Interpretive Center, please arrange your visit in advance and notify the facility prior to your visit.

Jennifer Wick
Environmental Programs
Homer Lake Interpretive Center
Homer, IL
(217) 896-2455

Patrick Cain
Cultural History, Museum, and Garden Programs
Museum of the Grand Prairie
Mahomet, IL
(217) 586-2612