Nature's Storytellers

A Blog About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Getting 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!
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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. 
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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.
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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. 
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Avoid Introducing Invasive Plants to Your Landscape

on 5/14/18 12:25 PM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Conservation
Many nurseries and garden centers unknowingly sell invasive landscape plants to unsuspecting consumers. These invasives can escape from your yard and wreak havoc on natural areas and the native wildlife using them as habitat.  
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Let's Go Native!

on 5/7/18 2:38 PM By | Debbi Gayon | 0 Comments | Insider Natural resources Plants Wildlife Conservation
We all have different sources of inspiration. Sometimes you just have to like something a little before you’ll try it. Other times you have to kick the tires and thoroughly research the matter before you dive in. So it is with gardening. 
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Artists Share Inspiration for 'The Art of Pollinators' Work

Inspiration comes from many places. We asked some of the artists in “The Art of Pollinators” exhibit to share the inspiration for their artwork with us to shed more light on what's behind their artwork. Here are their stories. "The Art of Pollinators" exhibit features nearly 100 artworks inspired by native pollinators. A collaborative effort between the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and DuPage Monarch Project, the exhibit runs May 2 – June 1 at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St. in Oak Brook. Exhibit hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. An opening meet-the-artists reception is slated for May 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.
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Forest Jewels

Twice a year, DuPage County’s forest preserves play host to hundreds of thousands of weary travelers: migrating birds looking for places to fuel up as they move between their summer and winter homes. But this season, none of these visitors likely excites birders as much as the warblers, the jewels of the spring migration.
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The Tangled Relationships in a Garden

on 4/30/18 10:32 AM By | Susan Urasky | 0 Comments | Insider Natural resources Plants Wildlife Conservation
The relationship between milkweed and monarchs is well known and well documented. Monarch butterflies feed on the nectar in milkweed flowers, collecting pollen before transferring that pollen to another plant. Female monarchs also lay their eggs one at a time on the leaves of milkweed plants. When the eggs hatch, the larva are dependent on the milkweed for food.
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New Equipment a Lifesaver for Willowbrook Patients

An injured herring gull received prompt treatment for lead poisoning thanks to a new lead analysis machine that Willowbrook Wildlife Center was able to purchase because of donations.
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The Welcome Return of Hummingbirds

on 4/24/18 2:48 PM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Wildlife
The return of ruby-throated hummingbirds to DuPage County is another sure sign of spring. These amazing birds can fly up to 60 miles per hour and flap their wings 40 ‒ 80 times per second.
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Making Friends in the Birding Circle

The start of spring welcomes thousands of migrating birds to the DuPage forest preserves and greater Chicago area. It’s also the season for birding enthusiasts to get outdoors to take in the beloved sport of birding. 
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Solutions to Common Garden Challenges

on 4/16/18 10:06 AM By | Jennifer Rydzewski | 0 Comments | Insider Natural resources Plants Wildlife Conservation
Gardening with native plants has many rewards, but it can also pose some challenges. The beautiful flowers may attract pollinators, but they may also attract unwanted critters, like rabbits that eat your phlox or squirrels that dig up your bluebells.
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