Get out of the house for a good time and interesting learning with these exciting trips made possible by the Rend Lake College Institute for Learning in Retirement.
Escape the city life for a day and experience forest floors covered with spring wildflowers and the songs of migrating spring birds with “Touch of Nature Tour: Spring Birds and Wildflowers,” set for Tuesday, April 18. The group will explore the natural wonders in its own back yard with trips to Giant City and Crab Orchard. Participants will explore two trails known for their fantastic array of spring wildflowers and songbirds within the Shawnee Hills. The terrain is unlevel, but there are benches and restroom facilities along the way.
Throughout the day, the landscape, flora and fauna will be interpreted by a tour guide from Touch of Nature Environmental Center. The group will view a slide presentation, and binoculars will be available. Tour fees, lunch and bus transportation are included in the $35 fee. Participants must register by April 7. Pickups will be made at 7:45 a.m. at the Rend Lake College Student Center and at 8 a.m. at the Big John’s parking lot in Benton.
Enjoy the wonders of spring with a day of discovery at Missouri Botanical Gardens, set for Thursday, April 27. Upon arrival, the group will view a slide presentation entitled “Welcome to the Garden.” Lunch will be provided, followed by some time to browse and visit the gift shop. The afternoon will be spent with a leisurely, guided walking tour of the gardens. Light refreshments will be served throughout the day. All fees, lunch and charter bus transportation are included in the price of $55. The group will leave the RLC Student Center at 8 a.m. and will make another pickup at the RLC Coffee Shop in Mt. Vernon.
Take a short jaunt to Dix with “Windy Pines Natural Herb Farm,” which will be held Tuesday, May 2. This small company located just north of Mt. Vernon boasts 25 years of experience in foraging native medicinal plants of Southern Illinois. The group will learn about native herbs and roots and how they are packaged for shipping. After the guided tour, lunch will be served at Austin’s Restaurant. Pickups will be made at 9 a.m. at the Student Center and at 9:30 a.m. at the RLC Coffee Shop in Mt. Vernon. The cost of the trip is $21.
A charming dining experience is on tap with “Dining Out: House of Seasons,” scheduled for Wednesday, May 10. The group will travel to Carterville’s House of Seasons, a restaurant, tea room and bed and breakfast. Following lunch, there will be a nutritional presentation and tea. A tour of this delightful bed and breakfast also will be given. The $25 fee includes lunch, presentation, tour and transport. Pickups will be at 11 a.m. at the Student Center and 11:15 a.m. at the Benton Big John’s parking lot.
The Institute for Learning in Retirement is an organization of retirement-age people who share a common interest in lifelong learning and cultural enrichment. No grades are given and there is no membership fee. Classes and trips are scheduled based on opinions voiced by senior adults in the community.