Brussels, Ill.- Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge will hold several free programs and events for families this fall.

 “Second Saturday Art”, a series of nature-inspired art programs will be held on the second Saturday of every month this fall and winter. These free programs will be led by refuge staff and held at the visitor center, where participants will create take-home art pieces and learn about wildlife and nature. All supplies are provided.

Sept. 12, “Pressed Leaves” will be held from 1-2 p.m. Participants will create clay imprints and bookmarks with pressed leaves and learn about the trees and plants at the refuge. Ideal for all ages.

Oct. 10, “Painting the Prairie” will be held from 3-5 p.m. Participants will learn about the prairie as they paint its scenery and colors onto individual canvases. Ideal for ages 15 and older. Registration is required, register by Oct. 8.

Nov.14, “Sketching Wildlife” will be held from 1-2 p.m. Participants will practice the techniques of journal sketching and learn about wildlife observation and journal keeping. Ideal for all ages.

A Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science Program will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. at the refuge visitor center. Monarch butterflies have begun their fall migration south to Mexico, stopping along their way to collect nectar. Citizens can contribute to monarch butterfly conservation by reporting butterfly and caterpillar sightings. Participants will learn what signs of butterflies to look for and how to report observations. Participants should dress for a ranger-led walk and bring a notebook to record observations. Register by Friday, Sept. 11. This program is open to all ages.

Refuge rangers will lead a free canoe outing on Swan Lake Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 4-6 p.m. Enjoy a fall evening on the refuge and experience the spectacular fall migration of waterfowl. Much of the refuge closes from Oct. 16-Dec 31 making this one of the last chances to get out on the refuge. No previous paddling experience is necessary, rangers will provide safety instructions. All equipment is provided, though participants are welcome to bring their own boat or other equipment. The canoe tour will meet at and leave from the Refuge’s Blooms Landing north of Brussels, Ill. Participants should bring shoes that can get wet, water and a snack. Register by Tuesday, Oct. 13, space is limited. For ages 15 and older.

In celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, Two Rivers NWR will hold an open house at the refuge visitor center on Saturday, Oct. 17. Activities at the open house include:

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nature crafts and wildlife photography exhibit.

11 a.m. Citizen science presentation and wildflower seed collection.

12 p.m. Presentation with raptors by Tree House Wildlife Center at the Visitor Center.

2-4 p.m. Canoeing with refuge rangers. No registration necessary. Canoe tours leave each half hour at Blooms Landing. All equipment will be provided. Children are welcome to paddle with an adult.

Fall weather enthusiasts can improve their fall color-viewing trips by becoming real citizen scientists at the Waterfowl Watching and Reporting programs on Saturday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. Participants will learn to identify waterfowl with our Ducks on a Stick waterfowl identification program, then take a walk with a refuge ranger to identify and record waterfowl while getting a behind the scenes look at Two Rivers NWR during fall migration. This program is free and open to all ages.

For more information about these events, call 618-883-2524 or email  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to these events for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, close captioning, or other accommodation needs to Cortney Solum at 618-883-2524 or TTY 1-800-526-0844 with your request by close of business no later than five business days before each event.

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