Celebrate the holidays with TreeHouse Wildlife Center, at their new home in Dow, with a variety of holiday and community activities during the month of December.

“Prowl With the Owls” this Friday evening, December 10th, beginning at 6 pm. Come out to the TreeHouse facility at 23956 Green Acres Road, and experience an evening of owls. Between 6 and 7 pm, there will be a campfire and weiner roast at their beautiful, new stone fire pit, built by Alton Eagle Scout, Justin Bollini. Veterinary technician, Pam Lippert, will host a live owl program in the education center, featuring several of TreeHouse’s own permanent resident birds. Following the program, local naturalist, Vernon LeClaire, will lead participants on an outdoor walk while he calls some of the wild owls in the neighborhood. There is no charge for the program, although donations are appreciated. The group size is limited to 35 participants, so please call for a reservation at 618.466.2990. Dress for the weather, and be sure to bring your camera and a flashlight.

In partnership with Alton Square Mall and Hawthorne Animal Hospital, in Glen Carbon, TreeHouse is hosting Mitten Trees at both locations. Your selection of a paper mitten, along with your $5 to $20 donation, will help feed our permanent residents through the upcoming winter. Your donation will make a great stocking stuffer for the wildlife lover on your shopping list! Ten percent of all proceeds from the Mitten Tree project will be used by TreeHouse to purchase warm mittens and hats for the residents of The Oasis Center in Alton.

Visit the nature gift shop at TreeHouse’s Dow facility on Saturday, December 18, any time between 7 am and 12 noon, to finish up your shopping. Choose from among a wide variety of TreeHouse t-shirts; birding field guides; sterling silver wildlife jewelry items; wildlife prints by area photographers, Eric Bloemker and Gene Sands; books about bald eagles; and fun stocking stuffers for kids. See the progress being made on the new rehabilitation clinic, and check out our new, permanent resident bald eagle. Enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and a candy cane off of the tree!

The next sessions of the preschool “Nature Nuts” program will be held on Tuesday, December 21 at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. The theme is evergreen trees and a discussion of the first official day of winter.  Reserve a spot for your preschooler, and enjoy a short outdoor adventure, a Christmas tree craft and snack and the story, “A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree.” Be sure to dress for the weather. Call Sherry Droste, Education Director, for a reservation. The program fee is $5 per child, and each child must be accompanied by an adult.

Call the Dow TreeHouse facility at 618.466.2990 with questions or to make reservations. Check for updates and details on the website at: www.treehousewildlifecenter.com  or on Facebook.

Text @RB to 618-202-4618 to sign up for Text Alerts from RiverBender!

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