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Forest Preserve Formalizes Ban on Feeding Wildlife

While feeding critters in the preserves has always been discouraged because it is harmful to the animals, it is now an ordinance violation to do so and violators will be ticketed. 

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Boosting Inclusivity: Four Rivers Is Now Autism Certified

The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards awarded the certification, which includes training that will help staff provide the best possible experience for guests who have autism and sensory sensitivities. 

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Uncommon Sighting: American Avocets Make Pit Stop at Whalon Lake

A pair of American avocets were spotted Sunday morning at Whalon Lake, which is anything but a common sight in Will County.

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District Launches Virtual Learning Programs to Meet Students' Needs

The District has created a new slate of virtual learning programs as well as a new "Ask a Naturalist" option; both interactive offerings will be provided live.

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Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Reopens For General Use

Fledgling birds born at the rookery have aged enough to be able to fend for themselves, so the preserve access is now open for birdwatching and hiking.

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Don't Be a Jerk: Announcing 'On Your Left' As You Pass Slower Trail Traffic Is The Right Thing To Do

With more and more bicyclists taking to the trails during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's imperative that everyone learn proper trail etiquette; announce your intent to pass, pass on the left and stay to the right when not passing. 

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Stellato Family’s ‘Happy Place’: Loving Nature and Removing Litter at Hammel Woods

Vince Stellato is teaching his two sons to appreciate and absorb nature and to pick up litter on their frequent jaunts to Hammel Woods. 

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'The Buzz' Nature Show Takes Flight Online and on Local TV

Interpretive naturalist Suzy Lyttle took viewers on a nature exploration during the July 29 debut of "The Buzz," a new Forest Preserve show that will air monthly on Facebook, YouTube and local cable access stations. 

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Larger Lakeside Shelter Opens at Whalon Lake

A new picnic shelter adjacent to the 80-acre Whalon Lake in Bolingbrook can host larger celebrations and gatherings at the popular preserve. 

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Here We Go Again: Another Bird Killed by Fishing Line in the Preserves

It's becoming an all too common occurrence that shouldn't happen at all in the preserves or elsewhere, seeing dead birds hanging from trees after getting tangled up in fishing line.

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Scavenger Hunt Fun Added to 'Found Objects Art Trail'

Grab a flyer and search for the individual items that make up seven sculptures along Snapper Pond Trail in Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve. 

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Goose Hooked With Fishing Line Gets Second Chance

Fishing line can be a death trap for wildlife and it's something we've seen play out over and over again in the preserves, but after some intervention Monday morning at Monee Reservoir, we're hopeful we've given one bird a chance at a full recovery.

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Extremely Rare Sighting: Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks Land at Monee Reservoir

Based on eBird data, it is the first-ever reported sighting of a black-bellied whistling duck in Will County, although there have been occasional sightings in other parts of the Chicagoland area. 

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Nature Photography Saved Her from Brush with Blindness

Amy Miller of Joliet knew something was wrong when she attempted to take photos at Rock Run Preserve – Black Road Access in mid-May and she couldn't focus her right eye. The outing led to medical intervention and a lesson for us all. 

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Coronavirus-Related Compensation Approved for Dog Park Permit Holders

A dog park permit discount of 25 percent will be applied to the purchase of 2021 passes when they go on sale in November. 

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Breakfast with the Birds (Zoom webinar)

Log in from home via Zoom to take in the wonderful sights of the birds of Isle a la Cache.

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Soup-er Chili: Hike to the Bridge Series

Strap on your hiking boots for a winter hike and bring your favorite mug and a can of soup or chili so you can enjoy some to warm up afterward.

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The Buzz

Migration Watch: Hummingbirds Have Landed in the U.S., and You Can Map Their Progress


Thanks to Journey North — a project run by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum — you can chart the hummingbirds' progress as they head our way.

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Think Twice Before Your Next Sip and Skip the Straw Instead


The next time you order a drink from a restaurant, think twice before you unwrap the straw. Americans use millions of straws a day, and many of them end up as litter, eventually making their way into ours lakes and rivers. National Skip the Straw Day, held every February, aims to change that. 

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