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Pollinator Hotels Abuzz with Guests Thanks to Eagle Scout Candidate

Three hotels built by 14-year-old Luke Lunde of Manhattan and his Scouting crew at Isle a la Cache preserve in Romeoville are attracting solitary bees that nest in cavities and are important pollinators. 

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Forest Preserve Police Reunite Lost Tortoise With Owners

The tortoise, which is not native to Illinois, was found at Hammel Woods around 4 miles from its home, so police believe it was dumped there by someone who found it wandering around its neighborhood after it escaped from its owners' backyard. Dumping animals of any kind in a preserve is against the law because it is harmful to the creatures and the environment. 

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Rare Bird Alert: Yellow-Crowned Night Heron Lands at Whalon Lake

Yellow-crowned night herons are a rare sight here, as they generally don't come this far north in Illinois and their breeding grounds are largely along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

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New Upcycled Fishing Line Containers Will Help Protect Wildlife

The free "grab-and-go" containers can be used by anglers to properly store unwanted fishing line, which will keep the line out of the preserves where it could injure or kill wildlife. The containers will be available at three visitor centers.

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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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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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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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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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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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Fishing Line Killed This Robin at Monee Reservoir; It Shouldn't Have

It's a scene that plays out too often in the preserves and it's important to raise awareness of how deadly trash being left behind can be to wildlife.

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Hump Day Afternoon Paddle

Celebrate hump day by kayaking Whalon Lake!

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The Buzz on Bees (Zoom webinar)

June 21 through 27 is National Pollinator Week, and you can celebrate by learning about bees, a beneficial and often misunderstood pollinator.

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The Buzz

What's the Difference?: Common Snapping Turtle vs. Alligator Snapping Turtle


Common snapping turtle or alligator snapping turtle? In Will County, the answer is easy.

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It's Lightning Bug Season, So Be On The Lookout For These Incredible Creatures


Catching lightning bugs is a summer rite of passage. But do you know how these bugs light up? Or why?

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