Nature's Storytellers

A Blog About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Garden Blooms at Mayslake from Worker's Creativity

Mayslake Peabody Estate is now home to a garden that blooms year-round, thanks to creativity, recycling and automotive paint.
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Enjoy Fall Colors on Tractor-Drawn Wagon Rides

Experience autumn in the preserves on a leisurely tractor-drawn wagon ride at Danada Equestrian Center and St. James Farm.
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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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A Model of a Thriving 1920s Poultry Operation

Millionaire coal baron Francis Stuyvesant Peabody is well known for his Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, but few know that he also owned a farm on the sprawling grounds of the estate.
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Connect to Nature through Mayslake Collage Classes

A walk in nature and a mixed-media collage class may seem like they have nothing in common, but when the collage class is taught by “The Paper Alchemist,” aka Darien-based artist Laura Lein-Svencner, their similarities become abundantly clear.
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Start Your Day with Yoga on the Lawn

Yoga. It’s the oldest new thing around these days and for good reason.
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Kids Catch Fun and Fish at Just for Kids Fishing Derby

Approximately 309 young anglers participated in the 33rd annual Just for Kids Fishing Derby at Blackwell Forest Preserve’s Silver Lake on June 9.
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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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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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Life Under Ice

on 12/17/18 1:42 PM By | Jennifer Rydzewski | 0 Comments | Insider Take 5 Wildlife Conservation Nature
After the last leaves fall and the cold winds start to blow, winter settles across DuPage County. Ground squirrels and woodchucks hunker down in underground burrows.
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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. 
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Lunch Break Loops

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!
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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!
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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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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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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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Forest Fave: Fullersburg Woods and Graue Mill

Visitors expect to encounter nature and native wildlife at DuPage forest preserves, but it’s a bonus to experience history firsthand as well. Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve in Oak Brook does just that with its Graue Mill and Museum, located in the southern corner of the preserve. The historic waterwheel gristmill open for the 2018 season on April 17. It closes for the season in mid-November with its finale “Christmas at the Mill” holiday boutique.
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