Adult & Senior Group Programs
In-person and virtual programs are available. 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.
For further inquiries or to book a presentation please contact us by phone at 847-367-6640 or by email. We ask that programs be booked at least two weeks in advance. These presentations are also available at the Dunn Museum, please call or email to inquire.
We continue to follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 and work in close coordination with the Lake County Health Department and other local partners.
*On-site tours at Fort Sheridan and the Stevenson House are priced separately. Please call 847-367-6640 or email to inquire about those presentations.
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
Drawn from letters, diaries and photographs in the Dunn Museum’s collections, this presentation discusses the personal stories of Lake Countians on the battlefield and on the homefront.
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.
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.
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.
Step back in time to meet the individuals whose efforts preserved Lake County’s historical and natural heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries and led to the founding of the Lake County Forest Preserves and its Dunn Museum.
Hear the Great Depression era story of a young, untried Waukegan artist, Reima Victor Ratti. This presentation will share details of the artist's days in the CCC and his artistic inspirations. We will also take a closer look at his artwork from the Dunn Museum's collection
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.
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.
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.
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. This program is offered FREE of charge to Lake County residents.
Learn about the natural history and special adaptations of coyotes and other canines in Lake County through experiences with natural artifacts.
How many different kinds of frogs live in Lake County? Discover the answer and learn about the natural history and life cycle of Lake County Frogs.
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.
Tall, wading birds can be challenging to tell apart from a distance. Discover the different species of Herons, Cranes and Egrets that visit Lake County and learn about their unique adaptations and habitat requirements.
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.
What we plant and how we plant it can make a difference. Discover nature-based solutions for the home gardener that lessen the impacts of our changing climate. This program is offered FREE of charge to Lake County residents.
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. This program is offered FREE of charge to Lake County residents.
Expand your knowledge of the mammals living in Lake County. Learn about different mammals’ life spans, family lives and special adaptations.
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. This program is offered FREE of charge to Lake County residents.
Discover the challenges our native pollinators are facing and how home gardeners can support them through plant choice, garden design and sustainable maintenance practices. This program is offered FREE of charge to Lake County residents.
What are rain gardens and how do they work? This class is an introduction to the functions and benefits of rain gardens at a scale for the average homeowner. We’ll cover the basics of how to start a rain garden including siting, sizing and plant choice. This program is offered FREE of charge to Lake County residents.
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.
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.
Starting native plants from seed can be challenging until you know the tricks to sparking germination. Discover what it means to stratify and scarify seeds and which species need which treatment. This program is offered FREE of charge to Lake County residents.
Learn about the different species of woodpeckers that call Lake County home and their interesting biology and behaviors.
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.
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.
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.