Nature's Storytellers

A Blog About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Training with Willowbrook Wildlife

on 8/20/18 12:10 PM By | Krystle Piwowar | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Recreation Take 5 Wildlife Nature
For 62 years Willowbrook Wildlife Center has been known for rehabilitating native wildlife and providing education programs for people of all ages throughout DuPage County. 
Read More

Lunch Break Loops

Late summer is a beautiful time in the preserves. But it can still be a struggle to find time to get to your favorite forest preserve, even though research shows that 20 minutes outdoors can reduce stress, improve your mood, enhance your memory and help you maintain a healthy weight. Fortunately, the Forest Preserve District offers lots of short trails that can help you get your daily dose of nature even during lunch!
Read More

Ranger Helps an Entangled Turtle

Forest Preserve District Ranger Austen Doherty answered the call when a visitor at Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve reported an injured turtle along the Salt Creek shoreline.
Read More

Protecting the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly

on 8/6/18 11:11 AM By | Tom Velat | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Natural resources Wildlife Conservation Nature
Working on the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly Project over the past several years has been a fascinating experience for me.
Read More

Bright Flashes of Orange in Local Trees

Despite their bright orange plumage, Baltimore orioles may not be easy to spot. These relatives of yellow-headed and red-wing blackbirds prefer high branches in densely wooded areas over open space like prairies. They tend to stay hidden, so you’re more likely to hear these birds than see them. They have a very rich, operatic, liquid-sounding whistling song, according to Abby Dean, a naturalist at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook. "It really stands out," she said.
Read More

Fireflies are a Summer Delight

on 7/16/18 11:09 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Take 5 Wildlife Nature
The twilight twinkles of fireflies, or lightning bugs, is one of the sure signs of summer. Most of us have fond memories of spending warm summer nights chasing them. Fireflies are fascinating creatures, but they’re not really flies – they’re beetles. The Lampyridae are a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous use of bioluminescence during twilight to attract mates.
Read More

Kline Creek Farm Helps Save Heritage Milking Shorthorn Cattle

on 7/9/18 10:07 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider
In the 19th century, the Milking Shorthorn cow was one of the most popular and common breeds in the United States. Today, it is a rare and endangered breed, with just 245 registered Heritage Milking Shorthorns in the U.S. And now Kline Creek Farm has one of them.
Read More

Helping the Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

on 7/3/18 9:07 AM By | Andres Ortega | 0 Comments | Insider Natural resources Wildlife Conservation Nature
Being a parent is one of the most difficult — but most rewarding — jobs I have ever had.  You watch your children grow from someone in need of constant attention and care until, all too sudden, they become independent, self-sufficient young adults. While neither of my children have reached that final stage where they “fly the coop,” I can sense it in the not too distant future. For me, raising the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly at the District’s Urban Stream Research Center — while obviously different — also has many parallels to parenthood.
Read More

Beyond the Riding Lesson at Danada

Animal lovers, curiosity seekers, horse enthusiasts and those visitors in-between can get up close to our horse herd at “Horsin Around” on July 21 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton. This unique experience — one of many one-day programs at the center throughout the year — not only offers an opportunity to interact with the horses but also learn about general breeds, colors and care. We’ll even explore topics in horse health, grooming and pasture turnout versus stall boarding. 
Read More

Get to Know Nature's Nasties

Ah, summer in DuPage County. Time to get reacquainted with the incredible array of plants and wildlife that call the forest preserves home. Sure, the thought of a few of them might make your skin itch or crawl, but learning what makes them do what they do — and what we can do to avoid them — can alleviate a lot of the uneasiness. So take a deep breath and read on!
Read More

Forest Fave: Meacham Grove

When ranger Sarah Rosenberg needs to reconnect with nature, she stops at Meacham Grove Forest Preserve in Bloomingdale. She especially loves the excellent hiking trails at the 255-acre preserve, which features woodland groves, meadows, a fishing lake, wetlands, the meandering Spring Brook Creek and the Meacham Grove Nature Preserve. 
Read More

Butterflying in the Forest Preserves

Watching butterflies in DuPage forest preserves is a favorite summer pastime for some insect enthusiasts. But even the lesser experienced bug lover in you can find butterflying a rewarding hobby with some patience and a little know-how. If you don't know where to begin, our top 10 observation tips will get you started butterflying this summer in the preserves.
Read More

Young Anglers Catch Fun at Just for Kids Fishing Derby

on 6/14/18 1:05 PM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Recreation Take 5 Nature
Approximately 308 young anglers participated in the 32nd annual Just for Kids Fishing Derby at Blackwell Forest Preserve’s Silver Lake on June 10. 
Read More

Best Wildlife Dads

In the natural world, we know that mom is usually boss when it comes to raising babies. And in many species, it is the mom who does most of the work on her own. However, there are some cases where dad plays a huge role and is crucial for the successful raising of young. In honor of Father’s Day, we’re highlighting some of the best wildlife dads in the area. 
Read More

Trail Segment Connects Two Counties

on 6/4/18 11:23 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Locations Trails Recreation
The Forest Preserve Districts of DuPage and Will opened a 1.25-mile trail connecting Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville to Whalon Lake Forest Preserve in Bolingbrook on June 1, 2018. Officials from the two forest preserve districts gathered for a ribbon-cutting at Whalon Lake, just where the trail extension meets up to the preserve’s looped trail.
Read More

New McDowell Grove Bridge Reopens

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County officials celebrated the opening of the new two-lane entrance bridge at McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville at a May 29 ribbon-cutting ceremony at the preserve on Raymond Drive.
Read More

Great American Campout Comes to Greene Valley

Campers — beginners and experienced alike — can join the Great American Campout between Saturday, June 23 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, June 24 at 11 a.m. at the youth-group campground at Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville. 
Read More

Honey of a Plan Lands at Kline Creek Farm

A team of sixth graders from Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn visited Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago recently to spread its message about helping save bee populations as part of a class project.
Read More

Mistaken Identity

Spring at a wildlife rehabilitation center means daily arrivals of baby animals. At Willowbrook Wildlife Center, our patient load skyrockets in the spring and summer months. Typically it is the baby bunnies, squirrels, ducklings, robin nestlings and raccoons that people are finding, but occasionally we will be surprised with a less common orphan.
Read More

Musseling to Maintain Healthy Habitats

on 5/18/18 8:23 AM By | Scott Meister | 0 Comments | Insider Natural resources Plants Conservation Nature
Maintaining healthy habitats is important, otherwise we wouldn’t spend time and money doing so. Like an automobile or a house, in addition to simple maintenance, sometimes we need to make repairs. Improving the environment, or repairing a broken piece of nature’s web, also improves our own well-being, and is a reason why many biologists like myself entered this field.
Read More