Merch drop: Squirrel shirt is latest addition to merchandise lineup
The Forest Preserve District's online merchandise line continues to grow, giving people more ways to show off their love of nature while also supporting The Nature Foundation of Will County.
The latest addition is the "Feeling Squirrely" shirt, available in sizes from extra small to 3XL. All shirts in our collection can be purchased online for $20 and include free shipping.
Other shirts include:
- "Bald is beautiful," featuring a bald eagle
- "Every day I'm hustlin'," featuring a turtle
- "Be a pelican, not a pelican't"
- "It's owl good"
- "Stay trashy," featuring a raccoon
- "I fake my own death," featuring an opossum
- "Keep the drinks coming," featuring a hummingbird
- "Dam it," featuring a beaver
- "Not all Canadians are nice," featuring Canada geese.
The merchandise lineup includes onesies and matching bib combo designs that say, "Keep the drinks coming" with a picture of a hummingbird and, "If I was a bird, I know who I would poop on," with an illustration of a bird on a branch.
Other Forest Preserve items for sale online include hats, magnets with a unique nature flare and stylish bandanas. These items also are for sale at the District's six visitor centers:
- Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon
- Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Bolingbrook
- Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville
- Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township
- Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet
T-shirts and onesies and bibs are only available online, and a Take It Outside ceramic camping mug is only available at the visitor centers.
The online store was inspired by the District's yearlong Take It Outside Challenge.
"The interest in creating an online store first began when challenge participants found out we were offering a Take It Outside T-shirt as part of a prize pack we give away monthly to a few lucky winners," explained Laura Kiran, the Forest Preserve's director of Marketing and Communications. "Once word of that got out, the requests starting coming in asking if they could buy one. So, of course, once the store became a reality the first item we included was the sought-after Take It Outside tee. From there, ideas for other items just started to grow."
Not only are all items exclusive to the Forest Preserve, but all proceeds from the sales support The Nature Foundation of Will County, which helps fund a variety of initiatives for the Forest Preserve District. In 2022, the Foundation provided $425,000 to support a number of projects, including "The Buzz" nature show, the Willy's Wilderness website, Woods Walk, special exhibitions, construction of the All-Persons Trail at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center and other improvements across the District.
"Each item we've selected is truly unique, fun to wear, and they make great gifts for other nature lovers you may know," Kiran said.
Orders purchased from the online store will be shipped twice each week. For questions about orders that have been placed, email [email protected].
The yearlong Take It Outside Challenge began in January and to date has more than 1,200 participants, with more than 100,000 total missions completed. And don't worry if you haven't joined in yet, because the fun isn't over. New missions are posted weekly, and the challenge doesn't conclude until Dec. 31.
To participate, download the free Goosechase app on your smartphone and start completing nature-themed missions to earn points and prizes. Part of a larger Take It Outside Campaign, the challenge is sponsored by The Nature Foundation.