This is “Leave No Child Inside Month” in Illinois — the governor says so — and the Chicago Wilderness alliance is celebrating with a series of free, family events including one in Evanston.

The group says the events will feature lively activities designed to nurture children’s sense of wonder and appreciation for nature and to help parents and caregivers feel more comfortable guiding outdoor play and recreation during future trips to local parks, preserves, and nature areas. 

The Evanston Ecology Center is hosting “Get Lost!” on Friday, June 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grosse Point Lighthouse, 2601 Sheridan Road.

The event features a scavenger hunt in the dunes via flashlight followed by a campfire and s’mores.

“What better place to explore the natural world than at the water’s edge?” says Claire Alden, program manager at the Evanston Ecology Center, “The dunes are full of natural treasures waiting to be discovered; from butterflies to marram grass, these are wonders that we have right here!”

Space is limited; pre-registration for “Get Lost!” is required by phone at 847-448-8256 or in person at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd.

“Leave No Child Inside Month events are designed to bring families together around enriching experiences in nature and inspire the curiosity that leads to a life-long connection to the natural world,” said Melinda Pruett-Jones, Executive Director, Chicago Wilderness.

Complete details on the month-long series of events can be found on the Leave No Child Inside website

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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