The Forest Preserve District will continue to offer virtual nature programs via Facebook Live in June.
Bird-watching, wildflowers, Blanding’s turtles, composting and the fur trade era have all been or will be featured as the Forest Preserve brings nature to your computer or smart device during the coronavirus pandemic.
Please note: The live 45-minute programs will air on the District’s Facebook page, so tune in from the comfort of your home and feel free to ask questions by posting Facebook comments.
Weather could postpone some of these virtual programs, but they will be rescheduled if possible and new dates and times will be published on the District's website and Facebook page.
VIEW OUR PREVIOUS FACEBOOK LIVE PROGRAMS
So log into Facebook and look for the livestream programs pinned to the top of the District's page at the scheduled start time.
Facebook Live programs that will be airing in June are:
Noon, Friday, June 5
Join interpretive naturalist Suzy Lyttle as she explores Snapper Pond. "I think when we look at a pond we think of the big critters that live there: frogs, turtles and fish," Lyttle said. "However, if you do a little digging you can find another world! Critters that hunt, pinch, crawl, or swim on their backs. One of my favorites is the dragonfly nymphs. We all know what an adult dragonfly looks like, but what about a baby dragonfly? Join me on Friday to find out!"
BLANDING'S TURTLE HATCHLINGS
Noon, Wednesday, June 10
This program will be a rare behind the scenes look at the Forest Preserver's 31 Blanding’s turtle hatchlings. "These little creatures are not on exhibit for public viewing because they are being raised to go back into the wild," said interpretive naturalist Jen Guest, who will lead this virtual outing.
Blanding's turtles, which are native to Will County, have been listed as an endangered species in Illinois since 2009. Many factors have led to their decline, she explained, including loss of habitat and getting hit by cars as they travel from wetland to upland habitats.
"They also have delayed maturity," Guest added. "This means they don’t even start mating until they are between 14-20 years old. If eggs are laid, predators often raid the nest. If the eggs do survive, only one in every 10 hatchlings make through their first year of life. This is one reason we help raise hatchlings through the Blanding’s Head Start program. If we can help raise them from hatchlings for a year, their survival rate in the wild is much better."
Guest said her favorite part of helping to raise the hatchlings is seeing them learn how to become turtles.
"When they are young they have to learn how to swim, hold their breath to dive, climb, and eat food," she said. "I love watching them grow and become turtles ready to survive in the wild."
HOORAY FOR HERPETOLOGY
Noon, Wednesday, June 17
Learn more about herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles, with interpretive naturalist Suzy Lyttle as your guide. "These animals get lumped together a lot, but it is nice to take a look at them and see what makes them different and what they have in common," she said. "Herpetology was my favorite subject to study in college and my love has only grown working with Plum Creek Nature Center’s resident reptiles. See Penny the Python, Bluey the blue-tongued skink, Lilo and Stich the Box Turtles in an action. If we are lucky, we may meet a few local amphibians as well!"
BREAKFAST WITH THE BALD EAGLES
7 a.m. Wednesday, June 24
Do you love bald eagles? Then tune in to this program, where you'll get an up-close view of an active bald eagle nest the Forest Preserve has been keeping a watchful eye on this year. The eagle pair tended to their eggs in the winter and hovered over their hatchlings as they slowly emerged. Now the three eaglets are getting big and will soon begin branching and exploring around the preserve. It's possible the eagles will put on a feeding time show during this unique livestream. Longtime volunteer Joel Craig will be on hand to not only chime in with all sorts of interesting information, but answer questions as they roll in via comments.
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.