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Snakes in the Water? Don't Worry; They're Not After You

Learn more about the northern water snake, one of the most common water snakes in Illinois.

A primer for bringing your pooch to a preserve

Follow these rules to protect your pup and the preserves.

Coming in 2020: Pelican Watch, Food Truck Fridays, Zombies, and More

The 2020 special event schedule features a wide variety of offerings for all ages and interests.

Quiz: Test Your Knowledge on the American Mink

Test your knowledge on these little-known creatures.

Retired Carpenter Nails Perfect Shot for June Photo Contest Win

Jon Flodstrom of Frankfort said he timed it just right to get within a foot of a widow skimmer perched near a Hickory Creek Preserve pond to snap the winning photo.

Quiz: Are You As Clever as a Red Fox?

Find out by answering these 10 questions.

The Monarchs Are Disappearing, But Here's How You Can Help

Monarch populations continue to plummet, but there are things you can do to help.

Heartbreaking Egret Photo Another Reminder of Dangers of Improperly Disposed of Fishing Line

As the weather begins to turn for the better and more people take to the preserves to fish, we have an urgent plea for everyone: Please properly dispose of your fishing line.

2020 Preserve the Moment Photo Contest Underway

The Forest Preserve's Preserve the Moment photo contest begins May 1, but all participants are being urged to stay safe while snapping pics of nature in Will County preserves.

What's The Difference?: Butterfly Vs. Moth

Is that a moth or a butterfly? Learn the clues to help you tell the difference.

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.

The Dog Days of Summer Are Here, But It Doesn't Mean What You Think

The dog days of summer are here, both literally and metaphorically. Be sure to stay safe outdoors during periods of high heat and humidity.

Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Closes for Nesting Season

The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery site will be closed to general access from March 1-August 15 to protect nesting birds. Visitors will be allowed only during bird-watching programs.

Creature Feature: The Crafty Killdeer

One of most common birds in North America, the killdeer has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to protecting its nest from potential threats.

Biting Through Bats' Bum Rap

Despite the trepidation many people feel toward bats, they play a crucial role in the world, one that is critical to our survival.

2020 Picnic and Camping Permits Now on Sale

Permits can be purchased online or in person at Forest Preserve visitor centers on a first-come, first-served basis.

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.

What's the Difference: Chipmunk vs. Ground Squirrel

Is that a chipmunk or a ground squirrel scurrying around your yard in preparation for winter? Learn how to tell the difference between these two similar-looking rodents.

Fishing Line Killed This Robin at Monee Reservoir; It Shouldn't Have

It's a scene that plays out too often in the preserves, but it's important to raise awareness of how deadly trash being left behind can be to wildlife.

Forest Preserve Dog Parks Now Open

Changing recommendations from the CDC and state modifications to its COVID-19 response paved the way for the dog parks to reopen; but the Forest Preserve urges dog park patrons to follow all public safety advice to protect their health and the health of others.

Creature Feature: The Diminutive Downy Woodpecker

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

Creature Feature: The Often-Misidentified 13-Lined Ground Squirrel

That chipmunk you see may be a 13-lined ground squirrel. Learn how to tell them apart and everything you need to know about these ground squirrels.

COVID-19 Update: Latrines, Visitor Centers Now Open

During the Forest Preserve's phase four reopening plan, latrines and water fountains are available, visitor centers will reopen with capacity limits, and picnic and camping permits can be booked online or in person.

'Astonishing' Work at Hadley Valley Earns Excellence in Ecological Restoration Accreditation

Restoration efforts at Hadley Valley have earned the site an Excellence in Ecological Restoration Program accreditation.

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.

A History of Stone Transforms Des Plaines River Valley

Keepataw Preserve offers breathtaking views, thanks to bluffs that were carved from mining more than 100 years ago

Study Shows Learning to Love Nature Is Not Just for Kids

Spending time outdoors is good for you, but what if you didn't grow up with a love of nature? Can you develop an appreciation for it as an adult? You can, according to a recent study.

Peak Summer Days May Bring Problem Plants

Three plants in particular that are commonly found in Illinois can cause rashes, welts or blisters.

Creature Feature: The Season-Predicting Groundhog

The groundhog becomes a celebrity each year on February 2, awakening from a months-long slumber to "predict" when winter will end. Beyond this annual ritual, most Americans know little about the groundhog.

Frog on a Log Leaps over May's Photo Competition

The 2020 Preserve the Moment contest kicked off with more than 100 stunning photo entries taken in Will County forest preserves; seven more monthly winners will be chosen until the contest concludes December 31.

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.

From Nurture to Nature

Lab-raised Hine's Emerald dragonflies released into the wild at Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve.

Things We Love: Those Precious Possums

Opossums deserve our love and respect because they provide many benefits, and they're pretty cute too.

Planting with Purpose

As you prepare your gardens and yards for spring, consider including plants that attract pollinators — the butterflies, bees, insects and birds that are vital to our livelihood.

Creature Feature: Opossums Are Nature's Pest Control

Opossums are so ugly that they're cute, but beyond their appearances we should appreciate them for their amazing pest control abilities.

Quiz: Are You an Authority on Raccoons?

Find out by answering these 10 questions.

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