Nature's Storytellers

A Blog About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Part 6: Replacing Finial Newel Posts

on 5/15/19 1:03 PM By | Keith McClow | 0 Comments | Insider Locations
The farmhouse at Kline Creek Farm is 130 years old and has been repaired many times. The Kline family updated it over the years as styles changed, and when it passed down to their children they all put their own decorative touches on the house.
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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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Willowbrook Baby Season: Eastern Cottontails

on 5/7/19 10:57 AM By | Krystle Piwowar | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Wildlife Nature Rehabilitation
Spring is in full swing here at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn! Animals become much more active this time of year, so we tend to see a lot more animals brought to our facility.
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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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Part 5: The Housekeeping Plan

on 4/17/19 11:03 AM By | Keith McClow | 0 Comments | Insider Locations
Keeping up with housecleaning is always a challenge. Finding time to clean, having the right tools and getting everyone else out of the house are all helpful. It is no different with Kline Creek Farm’s farmhouse museum. Follow along as I describe how we clean the dining room.
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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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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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Part 4: The Dining Room Oilcloth

on 1/3/19 1:53 PM By | Keith McClow | 0 Comments | Insider Locations
The oilcloth on the dining room floor at Kline Creek Farm's farmhouse museum could be easily overlooked. In fact, we planned it that way. It is meant to fit in as just one more part of the farmhouse, but it is really a handcrafted and very valuable work of art.
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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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Part 3: The Parlor Pump Organ

on 12/5/18 8:35 AM By | Keith McClow | 0 Comments | Insider Locations
Once we had the wood-burning stove in the works, our next project was to restore our pump organ at the 1880s farmhouse museum at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. I knew it had major problems and I had money in the budget to restore it, but one day it stopped playing so it moved up higher on our priority list.
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Tracking the Origins of Invasive Zebra Mussels

on 11/29/18 9:09 AM By | Dan Grigas | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Natural resources Conservation Nature Invasive
Visiting a beautiful lake or pond surrounded by mixed woodlands or sprawling prairie is one of the most serene and relaxing things I can think of doing on any given day. Nothing beats hearing the hum and buzz of surrounding wildlife, feeling the gentle breeze on my face, and looking down upon the refreshing clear water. Wait, what? Pool-clear lake water? That’s not right. Healthy lakes and ponds typically have a slight greenish/brown hue to them, an indication they contain an ample amount of phytoplankton, the base of the food chain. Being too clear is often a sign that something is afoot in that aquatic ecosystem. 
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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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The Plight of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

on 11/6/18 2:20 PM By | Andres Ortega | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Natural resources Plants Conservation Nature
I think it’s just human nature to run in the opposite direction when we see a big black-and-yellow insect flying our way. But when it comes to the rusty patched bumble bee, our reaction to this federally endangered species should lean more toward excitement and compassion.
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Part 2: The Kitchen Wood-Burning Stove

on 10/30/18 12:35 PM By | Keith McClow | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Conservation Nature
The first project we tackled was replacing the production kitchen wood-burning stove in our remodeling project at Kline Creek Farm’s 1880s farmhouse museum. 
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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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