Hawthorne Hill Programs

Hawthorne Hill Nature Center Logo.jpg

Hawthorne Hill Nature Center is the perfect place to enjoy and learn about the natural landscapes that surround our region. The nature center provides year round opportunities for experiencing nature. Explore the trails to witness the rich fall colors, snow-frosted trees, spring wildflowers, summer amphibians, and an ever changing host of birds. Hawthorne Hill is an excellent place to relax, recreate and explore the natural world providing two ponds, acres of woodland, a mile of looped trails, and an interactive nature center. The 67 acre natural area that flanks both sides of Brookside Drive has a wheelchair accessible trail that leads to the pond and sedge meadow, as well as wide, 2-miles of wood-chipped trails to access other areas.

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Nature Center Open Hours Friday and Saturday; 10am-3pm

The Nature Center is open for all ages. Open Hours for the Nature Center is for visitors to enjoy the hands-on learning centers, displays and meeting room.

Volunteer Opportunities 

We welcome both individuals and groups. Come out and volunteer at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center! Tools are provided. Wear long pants and closed toe shoes.

All volunteers must register one week in advance.

All volunteers will be required to sign a waiver to participate.

For more information call 847-531-7055.

Rentals Information at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center

The Center is available for rentals for gatherings, scout meetings or birthday parties. It has a large meeting room with a kitchenette that includes tables and chairs. For more information visit online at www.cityofelgin.org/1804/Rentals or email Jan Monell at Monell_j@cityofelgin.org.                                       Rental Rates: Non-Profit: $65/hr. Res.: $70/hr. NR: $80/hr.

General Facts:

  • Large meeting room available for rent for meetings, birthday parties, showers, or anniversaries. 
  • Large room seats up to 60 guests.
  • Use of kitchenette with sink, refrigerator and microwave.
  • Rental includes tables and chairs.
  • No alcohol allowed.
  • Room not available Friday or Saturday 10am-3pm.
  • Rental fee and deposit due at time of booking.
  • Signed rental agreement must be paid and booked 14 days prior to event.
  • Set-up and Clean-up of event are renter’s responsibility.
  • Rental bookings must be made at Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin, IL 60120. 
  • Set-up and clean-up must be included in start time and end time of rental.
  • Rental fees: $65/hr. Non-Profit; $70/hr. Elgin Resident; $80/hr. Non-Resident.
  • Security deposit of 50% of total room rental fee not to exceed $500 is due at time of booking. 

Further information on rentals or to schedule a building tour. Contact Facility Supervisor, Jan Monell at Monell_j@cityofelgin.org or 847-531-7012.

Please check the Elgin Parks and Recreation Brochure for current program offerings.

Outreach IDNR Resources for Teachers, Scouts, and Homeschool Groups

Teachers, Troop Leaders, and Homeschool Parents you can schedule a field trip or rent the nature center as a teaching space for your group. We have the option for group led field trips, and nature staff led field trips. We have resource materials upon request including IDNR Resource Trunks, field guides, magnifiers, a microscope, preserved specimens, posters, and books. For more information please visit www.cityofelgin.org/hawthorne or contact Corey Zak at zak_c@cityofelgin.org.

outreach IDNR for teachers