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

Don't Dump Your Pumpkins in a Preserve or Send Them to a Landfill



Photo for: Don

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Tossing your pumpkins into a forest preserve after Halloween is not only a bad idea, in terms of how it affects wildlife, it's also illegal and you could be ticketed.

The best alternative is to compost your pumpkins, which also keeps them out of the landfills where they produce harmful methane gas.

Throwing any kind of food refuse into a preserve is a violation of the Forest Preserve District’s General Use Ordinance No. 124. 

The ordinance prohibits the feeding of wildlife and it also bans anyone from depositing “trash, rubbish, paper, garbage, refuse, debris, or junk” in the preserves (which would include food refuse) as well as seeds (including pumpkin seeds) from an outside source. 

The Forest Preserve District is offering an alternative for jack-o'-lantern disposal that will keep them from being dumped in the preserves or in local landfills.

Bring your pumpkin refuse to the Forest Preserve’s “Stop, Drop and Roll Pumpkin Composting” program, which is scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays from November 6 to November 28 at Plum Creek Nature Center. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

For other pumpkin composting options, visit the SCARCE organization's Pumpkin Smash website. According to the group, pumpkins disposed of in landfills create methane gas, which is a greenhouse emission that hurts the environment. And landfills are the third biggest source of methane in the United States. 

Don't feed the animals

While some people might just push a past-its-prime pumpkin into a garbage can, others think they are doing good by throwing gourd refuse into a natural area for wildlife.

But there are many reasons that wild animals should not be fed. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website, “Feeding leads to public health concerns. Too many animals in one place increases the chance of disease transmission to people and among other wildlife. Animals accustomed to people often lose their fear of people and can become aggressive. Those that become too aggressive may have to be destroyed to protect people and property.”

The agency also states that: Wildlife have specialized diets and can become malnourished or die if fed the wrong foods. Animals gathering in one place increases the chance of disease transmission. Animals accustomed to people can become aggressive. Animals fed along roads increases the chance of vehicle-animal accidents. 

The bottom line, according to the USDA? “Enjoy viewing wildlife at a distance. Respect their space and remember they are wild animals that should stay wild."

____________

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.

News

Lockport Man Completes Mega 'Harvest Hustle' Quest: 11 Virtual 5K Races in 11 Days

10/25/2021

Richard Fague ran 5Ks on all 11 trails designated for the virtual  'Harvest Hustle' program, even though participants are required to run only one 5K to finish the program.

Read More


Rain Causes One Closure and a Caution for Anglers

10/25/2021

Heavy rainfall on Sunday and Monday has led to one trail section closure on the Hickory Creek Bikeway near LaPorte Road Access and a caution for anglers at Monee Reservoir due to the high water level at the lake. 

Read More


Have You Captured a Picture-Perfect Moment in the Preserves? Enter It In This Month's Photo Contest

10/21/2021

Fall is in full swing, and if you're making it a point to spend some time enjoying the season in the Will County forest preserves, be sure to bring your camera so you can enter the District's Preserve the Moment photo contest. 

Read More


Sign up for a Newsletter