The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

Current Headlines

Crayfish is the Champ in June's Photo Contest

Photo for: Crayfish is the Champ in June

(Photo by Meagan Crandall)

A crayfish with its claws raised in the air like a triumphant boxer was chosen as champ in June’s portion of the Forest Preserve District’s Preserve the Moment photo contest.

The photo was taken by Meagan Crandall of New Lenox at Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve in New Lenox.  

"The crayfish was spotted right after the bridge over the creek not long after I entered the trail,” Crandall wrote in an email after being notified of her win. “It was actually standing like that on the paved path. I had to lay down to position the camera right. It was right after a rain.”

Crandall said she has been taking photos for about a year.

“I started during the pandemic as it was a great way to get out. I also got a new camera from my mom for Christmas and a tripod from my husband; so I’m able to take even better photos this year. I go out at least every other day, sometimes with my brother who taught me some great techniques on capturing photos of birds.”

Crandall said she loves the preserves and being out in nature.

“They are calming and provide a great escape from stress,” she wrote. “My favorite paths are Hickory Creek (Bikeway) and Wauponsee (Glacial Trail). I was excited to see the crayfish right there on the path and didn’t want to bother him too long since it seemed like he was telling me to leave!”

Honorable mentions for June were given to:

All photo contest entries can be viewed on the District’s Flickr page

The Forest Preserve's sixth annual Preserve the Moment photo contest began May 1 and it runs through December 31. Winners will be chosen monthly and eight finalists' photos will vie for top honors in January via public voting on the District's Facebook page. The contest showcases the beauty of Will County preserves and the flora and fauna they protect.

Every entrant will receive a participation gift, monthly winners will each receive a $75 Visa gift card, and overall contest winners will receive Visa gift cards in these amounts: first place, $500; second place, $250; and third place, $150. Photo contest prizes are funded by The Nature Foundation of Will County.

Photos must be taken by amateur photographers age 18 or older, and they must be snapped in a Will County forest preserve on or after the contest start date.

Please read all contest rules and photo upload instructions before entering the contest.


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.


Discounted Dog Park Permits Now on Sale


Half-price permits are available for purchase online, by mail or in person at one of four visitor centers. The permits can be used at all six Forest Preserve District dog parks through the end of 2021.

Read More

Tag Along on a 'Beautiful Journey' During an Aerial Episode of 'The Buzz'


Skim the treetops, glide over waterways and peek into nooks and crannies not visible from the ground as 'The Buzz' celebrates its one-year anniversary with an aerial extravaganza.

Read More

'National Night Out' set for August 3 at Monee Reservoir


Get to know local law enforcement in a fun and relaxing way during the 'National Night Out' event from 5-7:30 p.m. on August 3. Activities will include fishing, food, music, child IDs, and games. The free event is designed to build better relationships between law enforcement and members of the public. 

Read More

Sign up for a Newsletter