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Debi Shapiro’s ‘Happy Place’ – making memories with her mom at Rock Run Rookery Preserve

A Lockport woman has fond memories of her 'Happy Place' outings with her ill mother at Rock Run Rookery Preserve.

Quilts, Food Trucks and Zombies, the 2021 Event Lineup has it All

The event schedule offers a wide range of activities that are sprinkled throughout the year to inspire patrons to revisit sites they already love and to motivate others to discover a new place to enjoy the outdoors. Art, food, nature and fitness are all on tap as we get underway for some fun in '21.

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.

Nature Curiosity: Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Brain Damage?

Woodpeckers can peck up to 12,000 times a day! So how do they do it without hurting their brains?

Nature Curiosity: How Do Antlers Grow So Fast?

Deer antlers seem to grow overnight, and in reality they actually do. A buck's antlers can grow a quarter inch a day, but it's a process that requires a lot of energy.

Nature Curiosity: Why Don't Birds' Feet Freeze?

Ever shiver at the sight of birds on the ice in the dead of winter? No need to worry. Geese and other waterfowl are built to withstand these harsh conditions.

Creature Feature: The Diminutive Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest woodpecker in North America. Learn more about these birds in this creature feature.

Nature Curiosity: How Do Animals See in the Dark?

Each night as darkness falls, we begin to wind down our day, eventually settling in for sleep. For many animals, however, these same cues that signal the end of our day mean it’s time to start theirs.

Recent Land Acquisitions Push District Past 22,500 Acres

A 40-acre Homer Township purchase will expand Hadley Valley Preserve and provide a missing link for a Spring Creek Greenway Trail extension, and a 40-acre Washington Township donation will begin the establishment of a new eastern Will County preserve.

What's the Difference?: Downy Woodpeckers vs. Hairy Woodpeckers

These two look-alike birds can be hard to distinguish, but there are a few ways to tell them apart.

Nature Curiosity: Why Do Worms Come To The Surface When It Rains?

If you've ever taken a walk outside after it rains, you know that worms tend to congregate above ground after wet weather. The reason why is a mystery, although scientists have a few theories.

Creature Feature: The Elusive Bobcat

Bobcats are the most abundant wildcats in the United States, but that doesn't mean you're likely to run into one. These elusive cats are masters at remaining unseen.

Creature Feature: The Crafty Raccoon

Loved or reviled, the raccoon is one of the most common mammals in Illinois.

Nature Curiosity: Where Does Fog Come From?

You woke up to a blanket of fog covering the neighborhood, but where did it come from?

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.

Lunch ’n Learn: Steel & Stone (Zoom webinar)

3/3/2021: Learn how Joliet earned its nickname The City of Steel and Stone and about the backbreaking work done by thousands of immigrants at the city's steel mills and quarries.

5 Things To Know About Those Wacky and Wonderful Woodpeckers

Among birds, woodpeckers stand out for their uniqueness. Learn what sets them apart from other birds.

Meet a Beekeeper

3/7/2021: Pick up specific beekeeping tips or simply learn more about the world of beekeeping.

Creature Feature: The Striking Red-headed Woodpecker

With its crimson cap and stunning black and white wings, the red-headed woodpecker is a beauty among birds.

Stellato Family’s ‘Happy Place’: Loving Nature and Removing Litter at Hammel Woods

Vince Stellato is teaching his two sons to appreciate and absorb nature and to pick up litter on their fequent jaunts to Hammel Woods.

Love Birds? Here Are Six Easy Ways You Can Help Them

Our birds are disappearing at an alarming rate. Saving them may seem overwhelming, but there are many simple things you can do at home to help.

Nature Curiosity: What Happens to the Animals During a Prescribed Burn?

What happens to animals during a prescribed burn? Most are able to safely escape the flames. In fact, these burns are designed specifically to minimize injury and death to animals and, as a result, create healthier habitats for them.

Nature Curiosity: Why Is Blue So Rare in the Animal Kingdom?

Creatures come in all sizes, shapes and colors, but not all colors are represented equally. Find out why blue is so rare in the animal kingdom.

Get Outside This Winter to Stay Healthy and Reduce Stress

The Forest Preserve District's 127 miles of trails, six dog parks, sled hills, campgrounds and outdoor and online programs will keep you moving all season long. So, head outside to soak in some vitamin D, drop a few pounds and absorb the beauty of nature.

Creature Feature: American Badgers Are Digging Machines

The American badger isn't as well-known as many of the other mammals that call Will County home, but these fascinating creatures are exceptional diggers that are known to work alongside coyotes to hunt.

Things We Love: Those Layabout Woodchucks

Photographing wildlife can be an adventure, but the woodchuck is an easy subject.

Greg Duffner’s Happy Place: Commuting on the Old Plank Road Trail is ‘Good for the Soul'

In the past four years alone, Greg Duffner has racked up more than 19,000 miles on his bike commuting to work and riding in charity events around the country.

Isle a la Cache Museum

Isle a la Cache Museum immerses visitors in our cultural heritage and natural history. The museum transports visitors back to the 18th century, when "Illinois Country" was home to the fur trade.

Nature Curiosity: Why Does Some Snow Sparkle?

Have you ever noticed that some snow is particularly sparkly or glittery? Scientists call it 'snow sparkle,' an effect caused by sunlight reflecting off ice crystals in the snow.

Mike Nagrocki's 'Happy Place': A Backyard Escape Teeming with Wildlife

In the five years he has lived across the river from the Hastert-Bechstein preserve, Mike Nagrocki been transformed into a wildlife photographer and bird-watcher and it has become his 'Happy Place' and backyard haven.

Wildflower Photography Hike

5/2/2021: Take in the forest floor painted with the pinks, reds, blues and white of wildflowers in bloom and take photos while you hike.

Survival Stories: How Animals Endure Winter's Worst Weather

Even so, when given the choice, most of us choose to spend most of our time indoors. Animals, though, don't exactly have a choice.

Lake Renwick Migratory Bird Hike

4/24/2021: Join us for a guided hike in search of amazing waterfowl, soaring eagles and beautiful songbirds.

Plum Creek Nature Center

The Plum Creek Nature Center offers visitors a place to explore the natural world, with hands-on exhibits and interactive play elements.

Nature Curiosity: Why and How Do Turtles Breathe With Their Butts?

How do turtles breathe while they are underwater all winter? By breathing through their butts, so to speak.

Morning Bird Hike

4/25/2021: Take in the forest floor painted with the pinks, reds, blues, and white of wildflowers in bloom and take photos while you hike.

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