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Become a Preserve Restoration or Interpreter Aide Volunteer

There are many ways to get involved as a Forest Preserve volunteer.

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Volunteer Spotlight: From Bluebirds to Building Bridges, Bernie Twait Continues to Give Back

Bernie Twait has spent decades of his life volunteering, pursuing his own interests and hobbies as a way for him to also help better his community.

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Annual Trail Trek Keeps Joliet Bicyclist on Track

William Udrow, 70, uses local trails to keep in shape and to connect him to his longer bicycle expeditions, which is just what Forest Preserve trail planners had in mind.

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Frankfort Man’s Cannibalfly Close-Up Wins August Portion of Photo Contest

The red-footed cannibalfly photo was taken at Hickory Creek Preserve and is the fourth finalist in the eight-month-long contest.

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ComEd, Openlands Grant will Improve Dragonfly Habitat

The grant will be used to enhance habitat for the federally-endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly and other pollinators at Prairie Bluff and Lockport Prairie preserves.

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What You Need to Know About Close Encounters with Coyotes

Stand tall, make some noise and give the carnivore wide berth as you appreciate its beauty.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Kenny's Extra Eyes and Ears for the District

Emily Kenny’s time spent volunteering with the Forest Preserve District has included so many different tasks that she’s become a familiar face to many employees, fellow volunteers and visitors over the past 18 years.

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Get Up Close and Personal with Vernon Kleen, Illinois' Master Hummingbird Bander

Vernon Kleen's lifelong passion helps engage other people in the often fascinating world of birds through his work as a bird bander at hummingbird festivals throughout the state.

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‘Woods Walk’ Exploration Program is in Full Swing

This popular self-paced pedestrian program encourages participants to get outside and explore the preserves.

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Enter Your Photos for August's Preserve the Moment Photo Contest

Will you be the one to snap the next award-winning shot in our incredibly popular photo contest?

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Veterans Woods Reopens Following Improvement Project

Picnic permitting has resumed at Veterans Woods now that the improvements have been completed.

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Aquatic Restoration Project Takes Root at Two Preserves

This multimillion-dollar, 700-acre restoration project at Prarie Bluff Preserve and Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Forest Preserve District.

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Romeoville Man's Heron Photo Wins July Portion of Photo Contest

The bird with a funky Elvis-like hairdo was photographed resting on a branch at McKinley Woods by Romeoville resident Mark Hanna.

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Monee Reservoir: A Staycation Haven

Whether you're an angler, boater, hiker, photographer or a family looking for an affordable staycation, the preserve has something to offer.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Joel Craig and His 'Happy Place' at Lake Renwick

His start as a volunteer with the Forest Preserve comes with an interesting backstory involving an alligator.

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Winter Campfire & Stroll

Welcome the winter season and spend a spell around a warm fire. 

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Stories in the Snow

Join us as we explore a (hopefully) wintry wonderland and investigate where our animal friends go when it gets cold.

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The Buzz

Creature Feature: The Stunning Snowy Owl


Snowy owls are a prized find among bird-watchers, because the beautiful birds are a sight to behold set against a wintry backdrop.

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Nature Curiosity: How Do Birds Hear?


If you’ve thought to yourself "Do birds have ears?," well the answer to that question is both yes and no. 

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