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  • 715 W. Singing Woods Rd. Edelstein, IL 309-418-7051

    For information about Tawny Oaks, contact Forest Park Nature Center at 309-686-3360


    Tawny Oaks is the newest environmental facility of the Peoria Park District. It is located next to Singing Woods, a 700 acre Illinois Nature Preserve. The mission of Tawny Oaks is “focus the community on the rich biological heritage of Central Illinois and engage people in its protection and restoration.” The property contains a prairie restoration, ½ mile of handicap accessible trail, picnic area and visitor center with restrooms. It also serves as the trailhead for our trail system into Singing Woods Nature Preserve (which is currently under development).

    Visitor Center Hours:

    April 1-October 28, 2017

    Wednesday-Saturday 10 am-4 pm

    Sunday-Tuesday closed

    Contact Forest Park Nature Center for more information on Tawny Oaks.

    2017 Programs & Events

    Restoration Workdays

    Interested in a meet-up to help work to keep Tawny Oaks (and other natural areas) healthy? See page 96 of the Summer 2017 Playbook.

    Butterfly Workshop & Photo Class ♦ 2:00-3:30pm ♦ 6/24, 7/22 & 9/2

    Last year, Mike Ingram photographed over 30 species of butterflies at our Tawny Oaks Prairie. Bring your camera, and learn how to shoot some great photos with Mike. Butterflies like it hot, so bring a hat and cold drinks!

    Tawny Oaks Prairie Hikes ♦ 10-11am ♦ 6/24, 7/22, 8/26

    Come to Tawny Oaks for a series of prairie hikes. You’ll learn to identify what plants are blooming in our prairie, prairie birds, insects, and prairie ecology. These leisurely hikes are along a smooth level path and should take no more than an hour. Ages 10+. Donations appreciated.

    BioBlitz 2017 ♦ 12pm Fri-12:00pm Sat ♦ 6/30-7/1

    It”s an all-out biological investigation of Singing Woods Nature Preserve! Our goal is to document as many species of living things as possible in a 24-hour period. We need people with various biological specialties and skills. Stay tuned for registration information, donor and sponsor opportunities. Like us on Facebook to get all of the latest details. Ages 10+.

    Perseids Meteor Shower ♦ 9pm-12am ♦ 8/12

    The Perseids is the name of a prolific meteor shower that is visible from Earth that begins in July of each year and peaks in the second week of August. Cross your fingers for no rain, and see just how many shooting stars go by. This meteor shower is expected to peak with one meteor per minute, so you won’t want to miss this event in the dark skies over Tawny Oaks. Bring along a blanket or lawn chair, and probably some bug spray. Ages 10+. Donations appreciated.

    Native Plant Sale ♦ 9am-4pm ♦ 8/26

    Late summer is an excellent time to plant native wildflowers. It gives time for roots to grow before winter, and all rain means you don’t need to water the plants as often. Pleasant Prairie Nursery will be at Tawny Oaks with a wonderful variety of native species to help you start your prairie garden. Get a jump-start on next year’s garden by fall planting.

    Mid-morning Warbler Walks ♦ 9-10:30am ♦ Sept 9, 16, & 23

    There will be a leisurely pace along some level paths in hope of finding wood warblers and additional songbirds during Illinois’ fall migration. Bring along some binoculars if you have them and maybe a few friends as more eyes are better when trying to spot these quiet, tiny birds. If you lack binoculars, there will be some on hand to lend, and of course, all levels of experience are welcome. Ages 10+. Donations appreciated.

    The Big Sit ♦ dawn to dusk ♦ 10/7

    This event is part of a worldwide bird monitoring project organized by Bird Watcher’s Digest. We will be documenting all bird species seen in a 24 hour period at Tawny Oaks Prairie. This is a fundraiser for us, so the more birds we see, the more we earn. The more we earn, the more programs and services we can bring to you. You can participate by signing up to take a shift as an observer. You can also participate by pledging to donate an amount for each species of bird we see. To be a part of the Big Sit as either a donor or counter, contact us at 418-7051. Ages 10+

    Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow ♦ 9:00-10:30am ♦ October 7, 14 & 21

    While often abundant, native sparrows are notorious for being some of the most difficult birds to spot and identify, so here’s your chance to learn them. Bring along your binoculars and field guides as we head out into the prairie with the goal of finding 10 species of native sparrows. We have binoculars to lend. All levels of experience are welcome.

    Hawktober Hawk Watch ♦ 1-3pm ♦ October 7, 14 & 21

    Early autumn is a traditional time for hawk migration in central Illinois and we’ll scan the skies for red-tailed, broad-winged, and sharp-shinned hawks, falcons, eagles, and other birds of prey. Situated on top of the Illinois River bluffs, Tawny Oaks is an ideal spot for soaring birds. Bring binoculars if you have them, or use some we have on hand.

    Singing Woods Hike ♦ 9-11am ♦ 10/28

    Tawny Oaks is the gateway to Singing Woods Nature Preserve. Take a walk down one of the newest trails into one of Illinois’ finest stands of oak-hickory forests and visit a couple of glacial hill prairies. The topography is steep, and the hiking is challenging, so wear sturdy shoes and durable clothes. Ages 10+. Donations appreciated.