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Celebrate the New Year by subscribing to 'The Citizen'

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Would you like to know how fast wild turkeys can run, which insect does a waggle dance and where there is a live Blanding’s turtle exhibit in Will County?

Are you wondering where the newest Forest Preserve access area is, how Vermont Cemetery Preserve came to be and whether or not program registrations are available online?

If the answer to all of those questions is “yes,” consider signing up for the Forest Preserve’s free online newsletter, The Citizen.

The online version of The Citizen, which is distributed weekly via email, debuted in October 2016. Newsletter subscribers learn all about Forest Preserve happenings, including programs, events and projects. They also get to view stunning photography, absorb entertaining and educational videos and read in-depth stories on preserve history and flora and fauna.

If you had signed up in October, you would already know:

  • Wild turkeys can run 12 mph (3 mph faster than a chicken), can fly 50-55 mph in short bursts and they live in Will County forest preserves.
  • Swarming honeybees do a “waggle” dance to announce a new homestead has been found. Plum Creek Nature Center is home to a live beehive and it hosts beekeeper programs.
  • Isle a la Cache Museum opened a new Blanding’s turtle exhibit in 2017 that features a turtle housed in a 4,000-pound display tank containing 300 gallons of water. The exhibit is part of a program that will teach people about this state-endangered species. The Forest Preserve also is raising baby Blanding's turtles for release later in DuPage County forest preserves as part of a regional effort designed to give the hatchlings a fighting chance for survival.
  • Kankakee Sands Forest Preserve – Route 113 Access opened in December and it’s the 48th access area and 55th improved preserve created since the District was founded in 1926. Access areas typically feature parking, latrines, picnic shelters and, sometimes, trailheads. Kankakee Sands has all of those amenities and the crushed limestone trail is 2.5 miles long.
  • Vermont Cemetery Preserve dates back to 1843. The cemetery portion of the preserve is believed to be the resting place for settlers and laborers who originated from Vermont. It was saved from vandalism and neglect by Dr. Robert Betz, a biochemistry professor at Northern Illinois University, and volunteer assistants who began managing the special one-acre plot in 1961.
  • Online program registration went live on the Forest Preserve’s website in June. The feature makes it easier for people to sign up for the District’s many nature, recreation, history and wildlife-viewing programs, which are mostly free of charge. In November, dog park permits also became available via the District's website.

So now that you know a few of the facts you might have missed in the past 15 months, take a few moments today to sign up for The Citizen so you won’t miss any more bee waggling or turkey trotting tidbits.


Monee Reservoir Visitor Center Reopening Delayed


Building renovations are taking longer than expected and the site will reopen April 3 instead of March 1.

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Join Our Will County Wildlife Facebook Group


This new Facebook Group is aimed at making it easier for the public to share photos and videos of the amazing wildlife they come across in the preserves. 

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Normantown Road Finding New Life as Hiking, Biking Trail


The Forest Preserve Board will vote March 8 on an engineering contract that paves the way for another section of the Normantown Trail to be developed.

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