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Renamed and refreshed: Compass newsletter will help you navigate nature

Image of Compass newsletter

Forty years after The Citizen debuted, the Forest Preserve District’s newsletter has been renamed and refreshed to better reflect the publication’s role in guiding readers as they explore the preserves and seek ways to enjoy nature.

The first edition of The Compass debuted on Tuesday, January 4. In addition to changing the newsletter’s name to The Compass, the publication’s new tagline is “Navigating Your Way into Nature.”

The name and tagline sum up how this weekly digital document is a roadmap to all things Forest Preserve. With the click of a mouse, you can subscribe to stay informed, entertained, inspired and educated. Current subscribers to The Citizen do not need to sign up a second time to receive The Compass.


The Compass will continue to promote Forest Preserve programs, events and exhibits, teach readers about the environment, report on actions taken by the Board of Commissioners, and bring subscribers the information they need to enjoy recreational opportunities throughout the District. 

This newly refreshed publication includes more of the extras that readers have come to expect and enjoy including more videos; a special section promoting recreational offerings, volunteer services or employment opportunities; and links to popular posts on the District’s social media accounts.

The Compass features a Most Read Story from the Forest Preserve’s website, a Photo of the Week section and links to the District’s other newsletters, including the Canine Quarterly for dog park users.

Vital link

This will be the second major change for the newsletter since it was first published in the winter of 1982. In October 2016, the Forest Preserve decided to convert its quarterly printed publication into a weekly digital offering, which meant readers went from perusing four newsletters a year to 52. The switch to digital reduced the newsletter’s environmental footprint and saved the District thousands of dollars in printing and postage costs.

"The Forest Preserve's newsletter is a wealth of information for our preserve visitors and others who have an interest in nature," said Laura Kiran, director of Marketing and Communications. "This latest update keeps the publication fresh and engaging for its readers. We think the new features will be welcomed additions and will add to our subscribers' reading enjoyment."

No matter what the format, the newsletter has been and will continue to be a vital link between the Forest Preserve and the residents of Will County. 

For instance, recent digital newsletters have featured stories about the removal of a dangerous and environmentally damaging low-head dam at Hammel Woods in Shorewood, a new and much anticipated trail connection along Black Road in Shorewood, and the acquisition of the Hidden Oaks Nature Center and Hidden Lakes Trout Farm in Bolingbrook. 

History stories have told the tales of steel manufacturing at Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, ice harvesting at Lake Renwick Preserve and a World War II prisoner of war camp at McKinley Woods. Readers have learned why owls are so cool, what times of year coyotes are more visible and how the Forest Preserve is aiding threatened and endangered species, including Blanding's turtles and Hine's emerald dragonflies. 

Subscribers of the newsletter also have learned about winners of the Preserve the Moment Photo Contest, activities for kids via the Willy’s Wilderness website, and a host of interesting facts including why you should appreciate Canada geese, how turtles breathe through their butts and how nature can lower your stress level.

Forty years of content

Through the decades, the newsletter has chronicled land acquisitions, trail extensions, access area and dog park openings and visitor center renovations. It informs readers when they can buy permits, when boating begins, where to rent snowshoes and the best places to go leaf peeping, hiking or biking.

So, while the newsletter's name has changed and the delivery mode changed five years ago, the message is the same as it was 40 years ago. The Forest Preserve District is continuing to grow both in size and recreational opportunities and its newsletter will help you navigate your way to all that nature has to offer in Will County.


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