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'Buzz' Nature Show Starts Season Two With Joliet Jewels

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Interpretive naturalist Sara Russell (left) and "The Buzz" host Suzy Lyttle. (Photo by Chad Merda)

Delve back into Joliet’s industrial past or fly high with the eagles during season two, episode one of the Forest Preserve District’s nature program, “The Buzz.”

The show will air at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27, on the District’s Facebook page. 

The episode will highlight two Joliet jewels: the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site and Rock Run Rookery Preserve.

Sara Russell, a Forest Preserve interpretive naturalist, will lead the tour of Joliet Iron Works, which preserves the remnants of the massive iron manufacturing facility that once operated on the site from the late 1800s to the early 1900s employing thousands of people. 

“She will show viewers where the old furnaces used to be, and she also will explain what other structural footprints are left behind,” said program host Suzy Lyttle, a Forest Preserve program coordinator. “Plus, viewers will learn the process of making iron and steel and the different jobs and dangers employees experienced.”

The segment also will feature old photos of the plant when it was in operation and drone video of the site, which affords the best view of the ruins left behind. 

After exploring Joliet Iron Works, the show will shift gears and head to Rock Run Rookery, which has been a hot site for eagle watching this winter. Lyttle will highlight interesting facts about the birds and she will share viewing tips if you plan to visit the rookery, as well as important birding dos and don’ts when it comes to viewing eagles in their native habitat. The segment will also feature video of eagles in flight and on the hunt. 

While some of the weather conditions made filming six episodes of “The Buzz” a bit of a challenge in 2020, Lyttle said she is thrilled to be going into season two with the show. 

“There is so much more to explore and share with our viewers,” she said. “This platform is giving us the chance to reach so many new people and share locations that they might never have been able to see on their own.”

Lyttle also is excited because season two shows will have a new look.

“Feature segments will be a little longer, which will allow us to dive deeper into topics,” she said. “Last year we started at the end of summer and made it through winter, so this year I am really looking forward to spring. I love hiking in all the seasons but spring is just so rewarding after a long winter with new flowers bursting from the forest floor, frogs singing loud and proud in the ponds, and salamanders sneaking about in the leaf litter.”

For those who miss the shows when they first air, recordings of the episodes are available for viewing on the District’s Facebook and YouTube pages. 

In addition to being aired on social media, "The Buzz" also is carried by cable TV stations in Joliet, Naperville, New Lenox, Romeoville and Tinley Park. 



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