Nature's Storytellers

A Blog About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Be-leaf-ing

Autumn is a time to enjoy the crispness of the weather and the colors of the trees. The yellow, red and orange colors of the oaks, maples and hickories paint a beautiful landscape, making this time of year an experience in art.
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Scientists Search for Clues to Grassland Bird Habitats

More than a dozen ecologists from local conservation agencies toured the 1,800-acre Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville recently to explore and learn more about the high-quality grassland habitat that has been transformed into a birder’s paradise by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
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Lend a Hand at Volunteer Restoration Workdays

Want to give back to nature or earn community service hours? Help Mother Earth by lending a helping hand at our Volunteer Restoration Workdays. They’re a great way to make new friends, get some fresh air and exercise, and give back to nature.
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Restoring More of the Great Prairie

The 358-acre West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve in West Chicago is one of northeastern Illinois’ premier natural areas, containing more than 600 species of native plants and animals.
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Unexpected Garden Delights

You expect to encounter native plants and wildlife when you visit DuPage forest preserves, but you don’t expect to find amazing gardens abloom in gorgeous flowers.
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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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Contain Your Love of Gardening

on 4/2/19 3:25 PM By | Dave Andrusyk | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Nature native plant
I know many folks who are interested in growing native plants but feel they can’t because they don’t have a yard or room in their yard to grow them. 
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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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Points to Ponder Before Raising Monarch Caterpillars

on 3/20/19 11:50 AM By | Andres Ortega | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Wildlife Conservation Nature native plant
Full disclosure: I’ve always liked insects. As a child I found them intensely interesting and spent hours just watching them walk, feed and fly. As an adult I came to realize their critical importance to our natural habitats (not to mention our food supply). 
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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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Let's Go Native

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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The Tangled Relationships in a Garden

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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Solutions to Common Garden Challenges

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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Sun, Part Sun or Shade?

on 4/3/18 11:14 AM By | Dave Andrusyk | 0 Comments | Insider Natural resources Plants Conservation native plant
It’s a perennial question that comes up every planting season: Does it really matter if you plant a full-sun plant in the shade or a shade plant in a sunny spot? Well, it does if you want them to thrive. 
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Attracting Wildlife to Your Backyard

When people ask me how to attract birds, bees and butterflies to their backyard, my answer always begins with planting native plants. What do I mean by native plants? A plant is considered native if it has existed in an area or habitat and was not introduced by humans. Native plants have formed symbiotic relationships with native wildlife for thousands of years and, in turn, offer the best habitat. Adding native plants can help make your yard a great place for wildlife!
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Reasons to Go Native with Landscaping

As the days grow longer and the temperatures grow warmer, you may be thinking about your how you would like to landscape your garden this growing season. This is the perfect time to consider incorporating native plants into your landscape. 
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