Fossil Hunt & Canyon Tour (New Date)

  • September 30, 2012 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Until you stand at the very edge of the top, you can't tell it's there. Step down into the refreshingly cool creek bed of Sagawau Canyon to look for ferns, lichens, tree roots cracking apart the stratified rock, arachnids, maybe some amphibians and reptiles.

 

UPDATE: New RSVPs are not guaranteed a spot for the canyon tour. The morning fossil hunt allows for more people than the canyon tour.  There is room for people to come and do everything but the canyon tour. There's plenty to do up top while others are in the canyon.


Join us for a full day of learning about and experiencing nature. Staff biologists or naturalists will guide us through a brief classroom session, fossil hunt, and canyon tour. There will be time for independent exploration.  Despite its shiny new Environmental Learning Center and lovingly maintained grounds, the Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve is largely unknown and under-used.

 

This field trip is free and family-friendly. Seniors and those who are mobility-challenged are welcome to relax in the building or by the butterfly garden during more strenuous activities.  See carpool info below.

 

  • Get your hands dirty hunting for fossils in the excavated rock pile on the side of the old 1930's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) quarry, now converted to a small lake.
  • Spot fossils underfoot as you walk across the rare dolomite prairie around the quarry.
  • View the hummingbird and butterfly garden while sitting on the 160 year old farmhouse porch.
  • Find out what George the Turtle Expert does for the turtles' breakfast.
  • Ramble down the various nature trail loops.
  • Tour Cook County's only canyon, a short 1000 ft distance. (The tour involves briefly getting your feet wet and stepping on wet, slippery rocks.  I recommend gym shoes.)


The educational content can include the unique geology of our area, fossils, geologic time (Yes, more than 4 digits!), wildlife, flora, local history, evolution, etc. Other points of interest from its website:

  • Provides habitat for over 100 species of migrant and resident birds, and is home for the banding program of the Chicagoland Bird Observatory.
  • Offers week long workshops that may be taken for personal enrichment or as an accredited class through Governor’s State University. All programs are designed as in-service courses for teachers but are of value to anyone desiring more knowledge of Chicago area ecology.

 

The informal educational content will cover what you are interested in and will go as deep as your questions take it. Come prepared to ask questions!  Bring your binoculars.

 

Participants must RSVP on this Chicago Skeptics page on Meetup.com. This is a privately scheduled event for us, not a public program. Please note that the street is variably called West 111th St. or Calumet Sag Rd. or Route 83. The address number remains the same.

 

>> Check back for updates. <<


Public transit does not access this destination. We don't want to exclude car-less participants. If you have a car, van, or helicopter, please fill this in for your RSVP comment section in addition to whatever else you want to say:

“I have carpool space for ___ additional people and will be coming from the _____ area.”

Join or login to comment.

  • Kal-El

    Had an amazing time exploring and learning. It was perfect for my whole family. Everyone was friendly and my daughters found fossils to take home. Thanks for organizing this!

    October 8, 2012

  • Jose E.

    Anytime I can combine, science with nature with exercise and spend this time with my family and fellow skeptics I am in heaven.

    October 2, 2012

  • vicki e.

    Kudos to the organizers. While I'm skeptical that they actually ordered the lovely weather, the fossil hunt was fun and the canyon tour was wonderful and covered all the bases. I appreciated learning about the flora and fauna as well as the geological history of the area.

    October 1, 2012

  • charles m.

    The trip exceeded my expectations. I brought my 10 year old granddaughter and her friend. They were interested throughout and even asked a few questions. Laurie (?) the staff person who led the event was very knowledgeable. A great day!

    September 30, 2012

  • Susana

    Such a good idea, thank you Rachel for thinking of it and arranging it!

    September 30, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Rachel--great job keeping things going smoothly! Definitely looking forward to more outdoor activities!

    September 30, 2012

  • Kal-El

    Still not sure enough to provide a solid Yes RSVP. Is the fossil portion something I (and 1-3 family) can 'just' show up to?
    First time attending so want to be clear.
    Thanks.

    September 29, 2012

    • the m.

      answered via email

      September 29, 2012

  • the m.

    Everyone should have received and read the "Time Change" email. It includes important info beyond the time change. The weather may be chilly, so layers are a good idea. You'll want your hands free for activities, especially when looking for fossils in the overgrown rock pile. You might want to leave your purse behind. For 9AM: If you intend to wear rubber boots in the canyon, wear them to the Learning Center at 9AM. You really won't need to carry a water bottle at this time. Leave any extra gym shoes in the car.

    September 28, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      What about a backpack?

      September 28, 2012

    • the m.

      That works. : )

      September 28, 2012

  • Jamillia aka SpaceKat aka DJ I.

    Anyone with a car willing to pick someone up in the Beverly area? That's me btw. :) I'm located somewhat on the way.

    September 25, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sweet! Yes, I can even be there by 7:45! Thanks!

      1 · September 27, 2012

    • Jamillia aka SpaceKat aka DJ I.

      Thanks Matt, but I already changed my rsvp to a No. I'll have to catch you guys on the next outing.

      September 28, 2012

  • Micah N.

    If I did not get there until noon, would the dig still be on?

    September 27, 2012

  • vicki e.

    Why moved up an hour early at this late date?

    September 27, 2012

    • 3Dguy

      This was covered in the email I think everybody got.
      "Time Change from 10:00AM to 9:00AM
      Although I started planning this event with the venue's assistant director, the main director has now come back from vacation. It turns out that we must start one hour earlier in order to fit into their schedule"
      The Nature Center gave a new time for us.

      1 · September 27, 2012

  • Jamilette

    Hi, I have carpool space for 2 more people. I could pick them up from Midway metra station. BTW, I will be bringing my 8 yr old son :)

    1 · September 17, 2012

    • the m.

      I see that Redag replied with "Aye aye." In exchange for a ride, you should make him talk like a pirate all day. Your son would get a kick out of that. ; )

      1 · September 26, 2012

    • Redag

      Oh my, I was working through the mobile app last night, so I did not see that my response occurred outside of the proper reply hierarchy! My apologies.

      September 27, 2012

  • Redag

    Aye aye. 7:45 it will be.

    September 26, 2012

  • Marcus

    Jairus - Thanks but no thanks. I have a ride.

    September 24, 2012

  • charles m.

    I had a request from Melissa but I don't see her reply. Are still in need of a lift?

    September 23, 2012

    • the m.

      Charles, I think that Melissa was asking if more people could be added to the trip. (The trip is full and a waiting list is open.) I don't think Melissa needs a carpool, but others still do. What area are you coming from?

      September 24, 2012

  • john r.

    “I have carpool space for 1 additional people and will be coming from the Aurora area.”

    September 24, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Do you have room for one more adult and one more child? I'm already attending with my son but there are two more people who would also like to join us.

    September 22, 2012

    • the m.

      Check your email for a reply, Melissa.

      September 24, 2012

  • Jairus D.

    I've got room for 3 in the car. I'm coming from the northwest suburbs, but can easily stop in the city.

    September 17, 2012

    • Jairus D.

      Eilene- I'm in Wheeling. I will need to stop in the city to pick someone up. Happy to give you a ride. I'll shoot you a direct email with my contact info.

      September 23, 2012

    • Eilene

      great that you're willing to do it...but isn't city in opposite direction from Lemont?

      September 23, 2012

  • charles m.

    I have room for an adult and a child--you should know that the middle seat in the back has only a waist seat belt. My granddaughter is 10 as is her friend.

    Charlie

    1 · September 22, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I live in Pilson, within the boundaries of Western, Damen, Cermak and 18th. I would love a ride, if it's not already taken.

      September 23, 2012

  • Marcus

    I would like to come on this trip but I too would need to bum a ride. I can make it to a pick up somewhere in the city but naturally would prefer to travel by helicopter.

    1 · September 18, 2012

    • Jairus D.

      Marcus-Helicopter is in the shop, but I pulled the luxurious Nissan Versa out of the garage. Do you still need a ride. It looks like I still have a seat available.

      September 23, 2012

  • the m.

    Carpool: Make sure you plan according to the Sunday schedule for CTA/Metra.

    Everyone: The classroom session on fossils starts at 10 AM. Be on time to learn what to look for later in the excavated rock pile. Allow for 5 minutes to walk down the path from parking to the building.

    September 19, 2012

  • Andrew M.

    Oh I wish I WISH I could make this! Unfortunately I have a performance that afternoon. PLEASE do this again - or something similarly palentological. It warms my cockles. Have fun y'all!

    1 · September 18, 2012

  • Jennifer

    Hiya, Monkey! A couple of people are interested in attending but can't get to the location until the afternoon. They were wondering if you thought they'd be able to join up with the group along the way?

    September 18, 2012

    • the m.

      The preserve is open to the public until 4:00 PM. People may show up in the afternoon and hang out around the learning center if the group is off doing the hunt or tour. The group will return to the learning center after both and then have some exploration time together at the end. Important: The canyon tour is the limiting factor of attendance. I need to know who & how many are showing up at a late time.
      Another thing, people can show up early when the preserve opens at 8:00 AM.

      September 18, 2012

    • the m.

      To clarify, unless with the group and the guide, both the fossil hunt area and the canyon are locked and off limits to the public. The rest of the preserve including the trails and the butterfly & hummingbird garden are open to the public during open hours.

      September 18, 2012

  • Eilene

    Thought this was the 23d .....when did it change dates and why?

    September 17, 2012

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