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  • A wrapped present under a tree.

    Five ways to make the holidays more eco-friendly


    The holidays are a festive time — a season to eat, drink and be merry. But all that merriment can create a lot of excess waste. 

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  • Two meteors streaking across the sky above a bare tree.

    December is prime time for meteor shower viewing


    Need a little help to get through the busy holiday season? December is the perfect month for wishing upon a shooting star.

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  • A woman standing in front of a tree along a trail.

    Meet a Naturalist: Heather Van Zyl, always curious and always learning


    Meet Heather Van Zyl, an interpretive naturalist at Plum Creek Nature Center.

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  • A crow on a branch.

    Five things about misunderstood crows


    Crows are highly sociable and among the most intelligent animals around, but they don't have the best reputation.

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  • Two young girls picking a Christmas tree.

    Don't be alarmed, but your Christmas tree could be crawling in bugs — thousands of them


    If you don't take precautions before bringing it indoors, your Christmas tree could be the gift that keeps on giving.

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  • People walking on the trail on a warm winter day

    Skip the stores and #OptOutside for Black Friday instead


    Looking for a new post-Thanksgiving tradition other than hitting the local stores for some frenzied holiday shopping? Consider joining the #OptOutside movement.

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  • Christmas trees for sale at a Christmas tree lot.

    Faux tree or the real deal: Which is better for the environment?


    Think you’re doing the Earth a favor by buying an artificial Christmas tree rather than a real one? Not so fast with that rationalization.

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  • The green glow of the northern lights in the night sky.

    Nature curiosity: What are the northern lights?


    The northern lights are always happening, but you have to be at the right place at the right time to view them.

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  • Two people walking a dog along a trail.

    Need a good reason to take a hike? Here are four


    Looking for a reason to it the trails and stretch your legs on a hike? Here are a few.

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  • Side-by-side photos of a long-eared owl and a short-eared owl perched atop tree stumps.

    What's the difference: long-eared owl vs. short-eared owl


    Their so-called ears aren't the only difference between short-eared owls and long-eared owls.

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Current Headlines

Don't hibernate, recreate this winter!


The Forest Preserve District offers a variety of recreational opportunities in winter including hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding. With more than 135 miles of trails, 40 preserves, two sled hills and six dog parks, there are many ways to stay active. 

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December will be a month to 'remember' for Take It Outside Challenge participants


The theme for the final month of the yearlong Take It Outside Challenge is December to Remember. Participants will have to remember where certain preserve sites are located to rack up points. The challenge ends Dec. 31. 

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