Nature's Storytellers

A Blog About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County manages nearly 26,000 acres in 60 forest preserves containing prairies, woodlands and wetlands.

Recent Posts

Special Needs Individuals Enjoy Outdoor Adventure at St. James Farm

More than 600 special needs individuals ages 3 to 30 connected to nature through a variety of fun activities at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Special Needs Outdoor Education Day on May 3 at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville.
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District Honors Men Who Saved Drowning Man at Silver Lake

on 5/8/19 1:18 PM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Nature
Ramon Garchitorena is able to fish another day thanks to the heroic efforts of three other anglers on Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville.
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Spring Woodland Wildflower Guide

Of all the seasonal blooms, spring wildflowers seem to capture our hearts and attention the most, likely because they’re the first we see after months of drab landscapes. Most grow in woodlands and for that reason are short-lived, or “ephemeral.” They must sprout, grow, flower, fruit and set seeds before the trees leaf out and block the sun. Some spring flowers are a memory by summer, but a few produce leaves that last into autumn. Below are a few you’ll see this season, so enjoy them while they last!
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Forestry Worker Makes Special Delivery

Sometimes it takes a village to help raise a great horned owl, as was the case when Forest Preserve District employees and DuPage County residents recently helped reunite three owlets with their families. 
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Keep Kids Learning with Fun Summer Day Camps

Help your child unplug from video games and connect to nature with our fun outdoor day camps for kids and teens. 
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Early Spring Plant Arrivals

Just a few native woodland wildflowers emerge in March: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) are among them.
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The "Magic School Bus" Rolls into DuPage Forest Preserves

on 3/4/19 2:59 PM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Nature
Science and social-studies teachers from across DuPage County joined the Forest Preserve District’s “Teacher-Institute Day: Magic School Bus Tour” on March 1, which was hosted by the Community Services & Education department. Teachers began their days at one of two education centers — Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook or Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago — to not only tour the sites but also get an exclusive scoop about the variety of signature programs available to students from grades 1 through 8 at the Forest Preserve District.
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Group Thanks District for Program That Connects Youth to Nature

Students and educators from the School Association for Special Education in DuPage County thanked the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County for providing them with many fun outdoor adventures over the years through the District’s Special Needs Outdoor Education Day, held  at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville.
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A Special Role for a Special Blanding's Turtle

Meet Shirlee, a rare yellow-colored or “xanthic” Blanding’s turtle now on public display to help spread the word about the plight of the state-endangered Blanding’s turtle. She’s also a great example of how it takes a village to help save these creatures.
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Greene Farm Barn Provides Clues to Future Forestry

Scientists are hoping old-growth timber from the Greene Farm Barn and Graue Mill will help them determine how to help future trees withstand adversity in the form of fires, pest outbreaks and extreme weather conditions.
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Law Enforcement Completes Rapid-Deployment Training

on 2/1/19 9:14 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Nature
Forest Preserve District ranger police officers Laura Michael and Mark Pinnella led rapid-deployment training for the Law Enforcement department — including its sworn officers, sergeants, lieutenant and chief — in January. Rapid-deployment training is based on standard law-enforcement principles and techniques used during emergency situations, large-scale incidents or crises (such as at a public school or shopping mall) that require multiple agencies from across the state to work effectively and efficiently together.
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Sowing Seeds in the Snow

on 1/23/19 11:03 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Nature
For local gardeners, winter’s a time to take stock of what did well during the previous year and to look forward to the coming crop of plant catalogs in the mail. But in DuPage County, Forest Preserve District employees and volunteers are already seeding for spring. It’s a technique called “frost seeding,” and it uses the way many plants grow naturally to improve a variety of habitats.
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Feathered Friends Feel the Freeze: How to Help Birds Survive Winter

Although the ground is cold (and possibly covered in snow), winter doesn’t mean hibernation and hiding for all wild animals, especially for some of the more common creatures you’ll see this time of year: the birds. 
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We're Thankful For Our Volunteers

on 11/16/18 11:39 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Volunteer
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers many of its popular events, programs and services with assistance from a dedicated corps of volunteers. These individuals not only help us deliver long-standing programs but also bring many new experiences to forest preserve visitors. They help to rehabilitate injured wild animals, cut and remove invasive brush, care for domestic animals, attend to chores and interpret our DuPage heritage, among many other things.
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Our Top 10 Things to Do to #OptOutside

Between the Thanksgiving dinner prep and the holiday shopping spree, get outdoors with your family and friends to experience the physical, emotional and spiritual rewards of spending time in nature. Today an ever-growing body of scientific research finds that nature is good for the body, mind and spirit. Nature makes us healthier, sharper and even happier, too! 
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Let's Talk Turkey: Fun Tidbits About This Popular Bird

For a lot of people, it’s turkey time. There are hand turkeys, turkey trots, turkey bowls and even tofu turkey with all the trimmings. If you hike through the woods at Herrick Lake, Blackwell, Danada or St. James Farm forest preserves, you just may see the real deal.
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Fall Faves From the Field

on 10/25/18 8:10 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Locations
Cooler temperatures, fewer bugs and amazing colors make this time of year perfect for outdoor outings. An informal survey of Forest Preserve District of DuPage County employees — those women and men who spend most of their workdays out in the preserves — revealed these especially scenic must-see sites.
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Saving the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid

Patience is a virtue, especially if you’re trying to save the federally threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid.
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Busy Beavers Prepare for Winter

Late fall means slowing down for many species (including people), but beavers are busy repairing their lodges and dams and poking branches and saplings into mud where the woody material, which is their winter food cache, stays fresh, even under ice. They can cut down trees over a foot in diameter.
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An Ugly Little Stinker: The Stink Bug That Wants Inside

It’s that time of year. The leaves are turning. The daylight hours are waning. And, yes. Dozens — maybe even hundreds — of brown marmorated stink bugs are gathering in numbers at any little crack or opening near a doorway, window screen or garage door seeking entry into your home. These little insects are not only numerous but also ugly — and boy, do they ever stink!
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