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Adult and Senior Programs


A variety of history and environmental based programs are available to adult groups and taught by our Environmental Education staff and Dunn Museum Education staff.

The programs below are currently being offered virtually, excluding Preserve Tours which are not being offered at this time. Fees are $40 for resident groups and $60 for non-resident groups. FREE for senior resident groups.

For further inquiries or to book a presentation or tour please contact us by phone at 847-367-6640 or by email. We ask that programs be booked at least two weeks in advance.

Historical Presentations

Civil War: Home front to Frontline

Drawn from letters, diaries and photographs in the museum’s collections, this presentation discusses the personal stories of Lake Countians on the battlefield and on the home front. 

Fort Sheridan

Learn the history and unique stories of Fort Sheridan in this presentation that draws from the Dunn Museum’s archives. Topics include the founding of Fort Sheridan, its distinctive architecture, notable residents, and ways visitors can interact with the Fort today as one of Lake County’s many forest preserves.  

Hollywood on the Prairie

Hear the story of the motion picture industry from the 1890s to 1910s, beginning with Thomas Edison's laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ to Edward Amet's backyard movie studio in Waukegan, Illinois, and Lake County's connection to Essanay Studios in Chicago.

Lake County History

In this overview of Lake County history, we will cover many aspects from our past and hear stories ranging from the Ice Age, to the first people, to our county’s settlement in the 1830s and beyond. 

Lake County’s First Historian: Bess Bower Dunn

As a woman of firsts, Bess Bower Dunn (1877-1959) was known as Lake County’s first historian, one of the first women in motion pictures, and first Assistant Probate Clerk. Find out why this woman is so important by examining photographs, reading passages from her diary, and looking at objects Bess helped to preserve.

Robberies, Holdups, and Shootouts: True Crimes of Lake County

Hear infamous true crime stories of Lake County ranging from Rondout Train Robbery to the Fox Lake Massacre. This presentation will examine the historical evidence to focus on the who’s, what’s, and where’s of fascinating historic crimes.

The Man From Libertyville

An influential figure in the political history of the U.S., Adlai E. Stevenson II was Governor of Illinois, ran twice for President as the Democratic National Candidate, and served as Ambassador to the United Nations. Though he lost both presidential campaigns, it was Stevenson's ideas that are his real lasting legacy. Learn more about his life and impact.

What’s in a Name?

Lake County’s rich tapestry of history is woven into the very fibers of its place names.  With over 500 place names associated with the county’s communities, this presentation delves into the origins of names in terms of the individuals and events that influenced them.

Nature Presentations

Butterfly Gardening

What factors have influenced butterfly populations in our area, and how can gardeners help foster these winged jewels? Discover what you can do to attract more butterflies to your landscape.

Coyotes and Other Canines of Lake County

Learn about the natural history and special adaptations of coyotes and other canines in Lake County through experiences with natural artifacts. 

Habitat Guide to Birding

You can find bobolink, cranes, and warblers if you know where to look. This presentation reveals the lives of birds, how habitat is important, and why your Lake County Forest Preserves are crucial to their continued success in our area.

Insects of Lake County

Learn about the insects found in your backyard, their life cycles, and the difference between the beneficial and harmful insects. We will cover some organic means of controlling the harmful insects.

Landscaping for Wildlife

Discover the benefits of designing native habitats such as butterfly gardens and rain gardens.  Native plant selection and identification, habitat requirements and maintenance will be discussed.

Mammals of Lake County

Expand your knowledge of the mammals living in Lake County. Learn about different mammals’ life spans, family lives and special adaptations.

Native Plants

Learn the difference between native and non-native plants and the benefits of using native plants in your landscape. Discover the wide variety of native trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers for use in the home landscape.

Owls of Lake County

Throughout the year, seven different species of owl live in, or migrate to, Lake County. Learn about the natural history of each species and their unique adaptations.

Reptiles and Amphibians of Lake County

Expand your knowledge of the reptiles and amphibians living in Lake County.  Learn about their natural history and special adaptations through hands-on experiences with natural artifacts and live animals.

Sandhill Cranes

Through restoration of their nesting and feeding habitats, the cranes’ population has increased in Lake County. Learn about crane biology, habitat requirements and where you can find Sandhill Cranes in Lake County.

Preserve Tours

Adlai Stevenson Home

Learn more about this influential American statesman known as “the man from Libertyville” as you take in the setting where he wrote speeches, reflected on world events and found solace in the landscape. The one-hour tour begins with a seated introduction followed by a walking tour of the home.

Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area Buildings and Grounds Tour

Enjoy a one and a half hour walking tour of the Ryerson Conservation Area grounds and buildings.  Visit Brushwood, the summer home of Edward L. Ryerson, to learn the early history of Ryerson Woods. Walk along a woodland path to our Welcome Center to see examples of watershed management, recycling and energy savings that made this the first green building within the forest preserves. Learn more about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and how you can make some changes to your home to be more environmentally sustainable.

Fort Sheridan

Tour this National Historic Landmark and learn about both the human and natural history of the Fort as you take in the beautiful surroundings. Our guide can come aboard your bus or lead a one-hour walking tour. 


Free Senior Series Programs

These regularly scheduled programs are offered at a variety of preserves throughout the year. Many include a guided walk through the preserves. Specific program dates, locations and topics can be found in our quarterly Horizons newsletter or our online calendar.

See our full calendar for additional programs and events for all ages:

Calendar of Events