Activities for all on tap at 4th annual Walk Walton Oct. 20

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Activities for all on tap at 4th annual Walk Walton Oct. 20

September 22, 2019 - 20:57

Take a walk in the woods, get a dose of science and enjoy food and beverages at the Homewood Science Center’s fourth annual Walk Walton event Sunday, Oct. 20.
From 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Izaak Walton Preserve at 1100 Ridge Road in Homewood will be welcoming all to learn about science through fun activities. Tickets for this PopUp Science fundraiser are $25 for adults, or $30 after Oct. 10. Kids under 17 are free. Information is at

  University of Chicago biology
  professor Cathy Pfister shows
  youngsters some of the
  aquatic life from Izaak Walton
  lakes during the 2017 Walk
  Walton event. She returns
  this year. 
(Chronicle file photo)

The day opens with registration at 10:15 a.m. for the first walk through the Walton woods at 10:30 a.m. The last scheduled walk is 11:30 a.m. 

Walkers will learn about the preserve from John Brinkman, president of the Izaak Walton Preserve board; the history of the land from Dave Ward, superintendent of golf at Coyote Run Golf Course; the trees in the area from Trinity Pierce of Chicago Region Trees; and the birds in the region from Judy Johnson of the Audubon Society.
Prairie State College Professor Lalinda De La Fuente will share her knowledge of fungi; University of Chicago Professor Cathy Pfister, marine biologist, will be in the Walton lake talking about the fish and nature; University of Chicago Professor Michael Coates, a paleontologist, will share his expertise.
“When families come out on this walk, they really get to learn about ecology with that hands-on twist to it. They’ll see Izaak Walton in a different way than they’ll ever see it going solo,” said Holly Kelsven, program manager at HSC.
The day’s program also includes two PopUp Science programs.
“Autumn Ecology” will be given by members of the HSC fall middle school ecology internship sharing their knowledge of native plants and the ecosystem through interactive activities as they complete their eight-week program under the direction of Nicole Fuller and Patty Messersmith.
The “Spooky Science” PopUp brings out the creepy, crawly bugs. Kandis Demeo of Flossmoor is bringing her petting zoo to give kids a chance to handle Madagascar hissing cockroaches, desert millipedes, darkling beetles, bess beetles and stick insects. She’ll also have some not-so-friendly insects, such as tarantulas, that she’ll have for viewing but will keep in their vivariums.
The University of Illinois Extension’s Master Gardeners program is “Worm Composting aka Herman the Worm.” Speakers will share the science behind worm composting, worm biology and allow participants to use microscopes to see worms up close. 
Governors State University Professor John Sowa will host a dry ice pumpkin bubble activity with assistance from Stephanie Applebaum and Jeanette Laplante.
Kids will enjoy Dave DiNaso’s “Traveling World of Reptiles” from 1 to 2:15 p.m. in the Senior Lodge at the preserve. His program is presented by Mi-Jack.
Decorate a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch hosted by On Dmed Urgen Care in Homewood, and enjoy S’mores courtesy of Grant Orthodontics.
Back this year is “Make and Take Slime,” giving kids the chance to make slime and take it home.
Throughout the day, food will be available from Wiley’s Grill, Aurelio’s Pizza and Say Cheese! Lassen’s Tap is hosting the drinks tent. All proceeds from the sale of beer, wine and Bloody Mary’s will go to the Homewood Science Center.
Raffle tickets are $20 and are being sold at the Homewood Science Center, 18022 Dixie Highway, and the day of Walk Walton, with a chance to win the $1,000 first prize, $500 second prize and third prize a movie night for 30 at the Homewood Science Center.
Walk Walton event sponsors include the Village of Homewood, Homewood Public Works, the Museum of Science and Industry and Tito’s Handmade Vodka with sponsors TriAlCo and Homewood Disposal Service.