Your Favorite @dupageforest Instagram Posts of 2015

In 2015, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County celebrated its centennial year of connecting people to nature. Many of you celebrated with us at our myriad special events and programs. More than 4 million people visit our 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs each year.

Below are the Top 10 photos that got the most likes on our Instagram account, @dupageforest. We invite you to follow us on Instagram to enjoy our forest preserves visually.

10. Hooded Mergansers 

Great photo taken by one of our rangers of two hooded mergansers doing the mating dance at St. James Farm in Warrenville. 

10 Merganser crop 

9. Jeepers, creepers! 

Our staff discovered a live creeper (Strophitus undulatus) in the West Branch DuPage River watershed during a recent mussel survey. It was the first time since 1958 that a live specimen of this native mussel was found upstream of Fawell Dam, which is located in McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville. 

9 Creeper mussel 405 

8. Meacham Grove Forest Preserve, Bloomingdale 

"There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves." ~ Joe L. Wheeler 

8 Meacham Grove trees 405 

7. Allee at St. James Farm in Warrenville 

Great shot of the allee at St. James Farm. Soon the trees will be changing colors!

SJF allee 405 

6. (tie) Horse and sunrise at Danada Equestrian Center 

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's this morning's sunrise at Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton. Enjoy! 

6 tie Danada horse sunrise 405 

6. (tie) Spring Brook Watershed Enhancement Project 

The Forest Preserve District and several partner agencies have completed a portion of a large-scale restoration project along 2.3 miles of Spring Brook, a tributary of the West Branch of the DuPage River that runs in part through St. James Farm and Blackwell forest preserves. Restoration will connect the creek to the floodplain, allowing nutrient-rich floodwaters to flow into surrounding forest preserves and newly created wetlands. It will also allow the floodplain to store and filter stormwater.

Because most of Spring Brook's watershed is upstream of the restoration area, runoff, invasive species and other stressors can impact downstream improvements. Homeowners, schools and other land owners in the watershed are helping efforts by changing how they care for their properties and volunteering as members of a greater clean water initiative.

Residents can learn about simple landscaping and water-conservation techniques through The Conservation Foundation's Conservation@Home program.

View a video about the project.

The Spring Brook Watershed Enhancement is a joint initiative between the Forest Preserve District, DuPage County Stormwater Management, The Wetlands Initiative, The Conservation Foundation, the Wheaton Sanitary District, the Illinois Tollway Authority, and Wills Burke Kelsey Associates Ltd.

6 tie Spring Brook 405

5. Monarch butterfly 

Another find at our recent #bioblitz: a Monarch butterfly on butterfly weed. More than 100 scientists and citizen scientists scoured DuPage forest preserves to find more than 950 plant, animal, lichen and fungi species -- some of them new to DuPage County -- in a 24-hour period last weekend during the first-ever Bio Blitz in DuPage County. 

5 monarch butterfly 405 

4. Danada morning fog 

Another one from the misty morning at Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton.

4 Danada morning fog 

3. Snowy Herrick Lake   

District Ranger Dave Sima captured this beautiful photo at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve this morning. Where's your favorite winter retreat in the DuPage forest preserves? 

3 Dave Sima Herrick Lake 405 II 

2. Snowy morning at Herrick Lake 

Here's another one taken recently by Ranger Ryan Smith at Herrick Lake.

2 Ryan Smith Herrick Lake 405 

1. Snowy owl 

This beautiful snowy owl is on the mend at Willowbrook Wildlife Center after apparently being struck by a vehicle. It was brought to Willowbrook in late December after it was found wobbling in a cornfield near the roadway in Joliet. A veterinary examination revealed the owl had a fractured left wing, and much of the skin and feathers were ripped away from its abdomen, hip and near its tail. The owl was recently moved to the outdoor Raptor Flight Facility at Willowbrook and is on track to be released back into the wild.

1 Snowy owl 405 






Aging Trees Made Easier
Published 4/15/2016
Born to Burn
Published 11/17/2015
Jeepers, Creepers!
Published 8/20/2015
Fall Faves From the Field
Published 1/1/0001
When Art and Nature Meet
Published 1/1/0001
A Mammoth Celebration
Published 1/1/0001
Establishing Our Roots
Published 1/1/0001
A Thoroughbred Dynasty
Published 4/28/2015
A Focus on Preservation
Published 1/1/0001
Milkweeds for Monarchs
Published 1/1/0001
Five Favorite Events in 2015
Published 12/30/2015
Our Top 5 Stories of 2015
Published 12/28/2015
The Little Things in Life
Published 12/23/2015
2015 Stories
Published 1/1/0001
Stories For Nature
Published 1/1/0001
Stories For 100 Years
Published 1/1/0001
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