The Buzz

All Buzz Articles

  • A person standing in front of a forest.

    Meet a Naturalist: Jess McQuown, an inquisitive mind


    Meet Jess McQuown, a program coordinator at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center.

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  • A block calendar showing the date changing to Feb. 29

    Why do we have leap days? Get ready for a math lesson — and a history lesson


    It's a leap year, and here's your chance to learn why we add an extra day every four years and why that day is on Feb. 29.

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  • A vole on the ground surrounded by dried and green grasses.

    Five fast facts about little-known voles


    Among rodents, mice, rats, squirrels and chipmunks are all well known. Voles, however, often fly under the radar, either because they aren't known or because they are confused with another species.

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  • A skunk walking in the grass.

    Love is in the air? It's just skunk mating season


    It's skunk mating season, and as male skunks are out and about searching for mates, we may have more close encounters with these animals, resulting in that telltale smell in the air. 

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  • Contrails criss-crossing the sky with thin, scattered clouds above them.

    Nature curiosity: What are contrails and how do they form?


    Those long, thin clouds trailing behind airplanes are called contrails, and here's a look at the science behind them.

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  • A male common goldeneye swimming in the water.

    Watch out for goldeneyes on local lakes throughout winter


    Common goldeneyes arrive in northern Illinois each winter. Look for them strutting their stuff on our local lakes.

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  • A turtle with a muddy shell sitting on a log in the water.

    Nature curiosity: Why and how do turtles breathe with their butts?


    How do turtles breathe while they are underwater all winter? Through their butts, so to speak.

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  • A groundhog in the grass.

    Five things to know about groundhogs, an animal for all seasons


    Groundhogs get a lot of attention on Feb. 2, but there's a lot more to these critters than the silly notion that they can predict when winter will end. 

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  • Two birds eating from a bird feeder.

    How to keep the birds visiting your yard all winter long


    The days have become noticeably colder and shorter, and food supplies have become more scarce for many birds. But you can keep birds visiting your yard all year long by providing the right foods.

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  • A person standing in front of a map display in a museum.

    Meet a Naturalist: Amy McNeil, a lifelong history buff


    Meet Amy McNeil, a program coordinator at Isle a la Cache Museum.

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Current Headlines

Public hearing scheduled for proposed $50 million Capital Improvement Program bond issue


A public hearing has been scheduled for June 6 for a proposed bond issue that would fund a 2025-2030 Capital Improvement Program. The $50 million bond issue would not result in a tax increase for the Forest Preserve portion of property tax bills because previously issued bonds have been paid off. In fact, taxes will decrease even with the bond issue. The money would be used to preserve land, connect trails and restore habitat.

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Bait shops will be open, Sugar Creek Administration Center closed for Memorial Day holiday


Monee Reservoir Visitor Center in Monee Township and the Tackle Box bait shop in Bolingbrook will both be open for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 27. Preserves, trails and dog parks also will be open. Other Forest Preserve visitor centers will be closed. 

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