Fall 2019 Conservationist

News & Notes

2020 Annual Permits on Sale Dec. 1

laptop, kayak paddle, pen and coffee cup on desktop

Annual permits for private boating, archery, off-leash dog areas, and model crafts go on sale Dec. 1 at dupageforest.org under “Registration & Permits.” You can also purchase 2020 seasonal permits for stand-up paddleboarding.

New for 2020, active U.S. military personnel or honorably discharged U.S. veterans will be eligible for one free annual permit per household per year for all permit types.
Permits will also be available at Forest Preserve District headquarters, 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dog lovers can buy off-leash permits at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St. in Oak Brook, Wednesdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Questions? Call Visitor Services weekdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 630-933-7248 or use our convenient online chat.


Grant Boosts Birding Habitat at Springbrook

close up of marsh wren

Thanks to a $2,500 grant from the DuPage Birding Club, the Forest Preserve District installed 1,848 plants in the 113-acre wetland southwest of Book Road and 75th Street at Springbrook Prairie, marsh species such as American sweet flag, common lake sedge and yellow pond lily.

Forest Preserve District volunteer site steward Joe Suchecki and volunteers from the DuPage Birding Club put a significant amount of the plugs in place, but before they began, Forest Preserve District contractors removed dense fields of invasive narrow and hybrid cattails to make room. As the new plantings repopulate, they should help keep invasive species in check naturally.

Birders have already spotted state-endangered king rails at the wetland as well as marsh wrens (shown above), pied-billed grebes, sandhill cranes and other species in greatest need of conservation. The hope is that a sustainable, more biologically diverse community of wetland flowers, rushes and sedges will attract a greater variety of marsh wildlife. Image by Greg Lasley/CC BY-NC 4.0


Give the Gift of Nature

Forest Preserve District gift card in a red box with a bow

Looking for a gift for that someone who has everything? Want an easy way to pay for DuPage forest preserve summer camps? Then get a Forest Preserve District gift card!

Use the cards to pay for programs and camps; reserve picnic shelters and campsites; rent canoes, kayaks, or boats; or buy cool swag. You can buy cards through Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 or forest@dupageforest.org or at any Forest Preserve District education center. Interested in golf? Get gift cards good at all three Forest Preserve District courses at DuPageGolf.com.


Because Deer Don't Look Both Ways

white-tailed deer crossing a road

A deer can run in front of your car anytime, but the risk goes up in fall, when these
animals have one thing on their minds: finding mates. Because they’re not concerned
about you, it’s up to you to watch for them.

  • Be careful at dawn and dusk, when deer are most active and visibility is poor. Odds are higher along woods, fields, fencerows and rivers.
  • Watch for deer-crossing signs. Agencies post them in areas that have had multiple accidents.
  • Slow down when approaching deer. They may bolt or quickly change direction without warning.
  • Deer often travel in groups, so if you see one, be ready for more.
  • Don’t swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid deer. Slow to a stop, wait and flash your headlights.
  • If you have passengers, make sure they’re on deer patrol, too.
  • If you hit a deer, don’t try to move it. Call law enforcement instead.
    Image iStock.com/mandj98

Collections Corner

In August the Forest Preserve District was the lucky recipient of six free display cases from the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. It will use the cabinets at different sites to showcase its artifacts collection, first at Mayslake Peabody Estate for the Mayslake Farms: A Gentleman’s Dream exhibit starting Sept. 14.

Valued at as much as $20,000, the cases are an example of how the Forest Preserve District continues to acquire valuable resources at little or no cost and to collaborate with museums for the benefit of all visitors. To read about other collection finds, follow the Nature’s Storytellers blog, and check out future “Collections Corner” features here in News & Notes.


Many Thanks 

close up of New England aster

The Forest Preserve District thanks the donors who contributed to its efforts between May 13 and July 31. To learn how your financial support can benefit the District, visit dupageforest.org/friends. To give to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Friends of the Forest Preserve District, visit dupageforestgiving.org/donate.

Gifts of Note
David and Loretta Nienke
$500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Sierra Club River Prairie Group Members
$500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center in memory of Ruth Najacht

Gifts of Note to the Friends of the Forest Preserve District
Ronald R. Bork Estate
$95,000 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
$21,000 — West Chicago Prairie restoration project

Rebecca Given
$3,000 — Land management in memory of Phil Hadley

$2,500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Jim Gehrig and Nokia
$1,596 — Areas of greatest need in memory of Peter Dudak

New York Life
$742.40 — Danada Equestrian Center

Ray and Louise Vogt
$600 — Areas of greatest need

Leah Bricker
$500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Larry Larson
$500 — Areas of greatest need in honor of Katie Gaskill

Gary and Judy Montgomery
$500 — Mayslake Peabody Estate

Carol O’Neal
$500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Rotary Club of Elmhurst
$500 — Law Enforcement search-and-rescue drone

Theodore Utchen
$500 — Mayslake Peabody Estate