We offer a variety of materials you can borrow for use offsite or while you visit. Materials are appropriate for teachers, parents, and youth group leaders seeking curriculum supplements, family activities, or assistance with badge requirements. We are also a lending site for the resource trunks and field trip pack available through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Education. Download our Loan Materials Brochure here.
- Borrow a maximum of two kits for up to two weeks. Should you need the materials longer, call us prior to the due date and we will extend your loan period up to five days if the materials are not already reserved for another person.
- Materials are checked out from and returned to the Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, Illinois (excludes Glacial Park Exploration Packs and Water Quality Monitoring Kits which are only available at the Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park.)
- Materials are free however a $2.00 per day fee is assessed on materials returned after their due date.
Reservations are recommended. Call (815) 479-5779 or email education@MCCDistrict.org
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Trunks (grades vary)
Illinois Birds, Illinois Fossils, Illinois Trees, Aquatic Illinois, Illinois Mammals, Illinois Prairies, Illinois Insects and Spiders, Illinois State Symbols, and People and Animals from Illinois’ Past.
Naturalist in a Box (grades 1-8)
Bats, Mammals, Birds, Native Americans, Creepy Crawlies, Plants, Prairies, Trees, Geology, Wetlands, and Astronomy
Backyard Buddies (grades PreK-2)
Chipmunk, Ladybug, Otter, Cottontail Rabbit, Raccoon, Squirrel, and Groundhog.
Hiker Trail Packs
Families, youth groups, and adults are welcome to borrow these trail packs when they visit the Prairieview Education Center or the Lost Valley Visitor Center. The packs are free of charge and for onsite use only. A driver’s license must be left at the center during use and materials returned one half hour prior to closing.
Reservations: Prairieview Education Center (815) 479-5779; Lost Valley Visitor Center (815) 678-4532.
Summer: Animal bingo or Scavenger hunt • Colors and shapes of nature • Animal homes, summer flowers, and insects • Read “Summer Moon”
Fall: Make Leaf Art • Fall scavenger hunt • Colors and shapes of nature • View tiny insects or other treasures • Read “Autumn Moon”
Map and Compass Packs
These packs are designed to be used on the map and compass course at Prairieview Education Center. The pack contains maps, compasses, and instructions for map reading activities and compass use. Each pack has supplies for up to 24 participants. Adult supervision is required; one adult for every four children is recommended. A driver’s license is required as a deposit and must be left during use.
Reservations recommended: (815) 479-5779
Water Quality Monitoring Kits
The Water Quality Monitoring Kits are educational tools and cross-curricular vehicles for multiple age groups. They contain reference materials, curriculum guides, water quality monitoring manuals, test kits, and the necessary equipment for biological monitoring. Two kits are available: the GREEN kit for grades 4–7 and the HACH 850 for grades 8 to adult.
To reserve a kit or schedule assistance with biological or chemical monitoring, contact the Outreach Program Coordinator at 815.678-4532, ext. 8117.