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Joliet Iron Works Virtual Tour (Zoom webinar)

12/12/2020: Here is your chance to learn about the Joliet Iron Works Site with a naturalist sharing the stories of the men and machines that worked at this site, along with many other fascinating facts.

Creature Feature: The Gangly and Graceful Great Blue Heron

With their long legs and necks and striking plumage, great blue herons somehow manage to be both gangly and graceful all at once. These birds are commonly seen throughout Will County, particularly near water.

Dog Park Calendar Raises Nearly $6,000 For Humane Society

The Forest Preserve's 2020 dog park calendar highlighted pups that visit the District's dog parks and animals rescued by the Humane Society, which is Will County's oldest no-kill shelter.

Coronavirus-Related Compensation Approved for Dog Park Permit Holders

The dog park permit discount will be 25 percent and it will be applied to the purchase of 2021 passes when they go on sale November 1.

Myth Buster: Bats Aren't Blind

Bats aren't blind — some can even see better than you — but they also don't need to rely on their vision to navigate in flight because they use echolocation.

Creature Feature: The Beloved American White Pelican

American white pelicans make their presence known in Will County twice a year, so get to know more about these biannual visitors in our creature feature.

Quiz: Test Your Pelican Proficiency

They are magnificent birds, traveling and foraging in large flocks making them nearly impossible to miss.

Beyond the Rules: A Guide to Dog Park Etiquette

As off-leash play areas for canines become more popular, it's important to know the do's and don'ts of a successful trip to a dog park.

Your Guide to Spring Snake Spotting

As temperatures increase, so can sightings of these reptiles out in the preserves

There's More to Fall Than You Might Think

Look around, and you'll see many signs of changing seasons.


The Forest Preserve District of Will County has over 30 picnic shelters found in various preserves throughout the county.

Ghost Plant: The Albino on the Forest Floor

This unique specimen is often confused for a fungus, but it's a perennial plant that lacks chlorophyll.


Fishing opportunities are available in the Will County forest preserves free of charge.

Weber Family's 'Happy Place': Hiking at Hammel Woods

Where is your forest preserve 'Happy Place?' For the Webers of Joliet, Hammel Woods is their go-to spot for hikes.

How To Turn Your Yard Into A Haven For Birds

Want to attract birds to your yard? You'll need to meet their basic needs: food, shelter and water.

Don't Be a Jerk: Announcing 'On Your Left' As You Pass Slower Trail Traffic Is The Right Thing To Do

With more and more bicyclists taking to the trails during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's imperative that everyone learn proper trail etiquette; announce your intent to pass, pass on the left and stay to the right when not passing.

Lake Chaminwood Preserve

The 120-acre Lake Chaminwood Preserve was acquired between 2000 and 2011. The preserve is part of the DuPage River preservation system, which conserves more than 1,500 acres.

In Honor of Arbor Day, 5 Mind-Blowing Facts About Trees

In honor of Arbor Day, here's a look at some of the many reasons we should appreciate trees.

Rare White Opossum Spotted in Wilmington

With scores of wildlife to be spotted around Will County, you never quite know what you'll spot while out in the great outdoors.

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center is located at 25055 W. Walnut Lane, off of Blackberry Lane south of Bridge Street, in Channahon.

McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove

The 525-acre McKinley Woods was acquired between 1931 and 2004. The preserve is part of the Des Plaines River preservation system, which conserves more than 2,400 acres.

Romance In The Forest? Trail Cam Appears to Catch Deer, Raccoon Kissing

A trail cam in North Carolina captured an image of what looks like a deer and a raccoon sharing a kiss, leaving scientists a bit perplexed.

Don't Feed The Wildlife? What About The Birds?

Don't feed the animals. We hear it all the time. Yet many of us make a habit of feeding wild birds. Why are birds any different than other wildlife?

Meet Shirlee, Our New Blanding's Turtle Ambassador

With a new addition to the Blanding's turtle exhibit at Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, the current crop of ambassador turtles will be getting a little help in educating the public on the plight of this state-endangered species.

Rock Run Rookery Preserve

The 224-acre Rock Run Rookery Preserve was acquired between 2002 and 2011. The preserve is part of the Rock Run preservation system, which conserves more than 1,450 acres.

Green Dragon Plant: An Uncommon Plant with a Misleading Name

The name of the green dragon plant conjures up some fantastical images, but in reality you have to have quite an imagination to see the plant's resemblance to a fictitious reptile.

This Dead Great Blue Heron Is Hanging From A Tree Due To Human Carelessness

The photo isn't easy to look at, but it's important to share it to raise awareness of how deadly the trash being left behind in the preserves can be to wildlife.


The forest preserves provide hikers and runners with beautiful trails throughout the county, making them convenient no matter where you live.

Wildlife Viewing

The Forest Preserve works to protect wildlife, especially threatened or endangered species, in its preserves. Enjoy the viewing of this wildlife at a variety of locations throughout Will County.

Rock Run Preserve – Black Road Access

The 320-acre Rock Run Preserve was acquired between 1990 and 2009. The preserve is part of the Rock Run preservation system, which conserves more than 1,450 acres.

Tree Burls Create Optical Illusions In The Forest

If you've ever seen a monkey in a tree in an Illinois forest, chances are it was really a tree burl creating an optical illusion.

Nature Curiosity: How Do Deer Stay Warm in Winter?

Deer can't escape the cold during a long, harsh winter, so how do they survive? They rely on a combination of adaptations and behavioral changes to make it through the cold winter months.

Watch: The Power of Nature as Told Through Timelapse Video

There are many ways to showcase the sheer power of nature and, while a photo or standard video can do the trick, there's nothing more magically jaw-dropping than a timelapse video.

Dog Exercising

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has six dog parks throughout the county. All parks provide fenced areas that allow dogs to run and play without a leash.

Night Owl: Cadette Badge

12/5/2020: Explore the mysteries of the world after dark and learn about nocturnal creatures, go on a night hike and practice using all of your senses after dark.

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