Birdhouse Contest Now Open

Welcome to Crabtree Nature Center’s first birdhouse building contest! The purpose of this contest is to highlight the need for nesting sites for birds and showcase your creativity. Houses will be built by registered participants, displayed throughout the summer and voted on by visitors.  Prizes will be awarded in September. View the contest flyer here.

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Hop on the Nature Express

Bus offers free transportation from Forest Preserves headquarters to special events.   Don’t have a car or just want to leave yours behind? New this year, the Forest Preserves will be offering a free bus from Forest Preserves headquarters in River Forest (536 N. Harlem Avenue) to select programs in the preserves, including the Rolling Knolls Forest Fun Day in Elgin on April 5 and the Nature Block Party at Eggers Grove in far southeast Chicago on May 17.

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A Centennial Call to Action

By Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle   This February the Forest Preserves’ Board of Commissioners approved the Next Century Conservation Plan, a bold path for our next 100 years. One of the plan’s exciting first initiatives is already underway.   The Chi-Cal Rivers Centennial Initiative will recruit 6,000 volunteers to work on five large restoration projects -- three along the North Branch of the Chicago River and two along the Little Calumet River.

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Winter Fish Kills Possible

Due to the severe weather of the past few months, our fisheries staff is reporting that "winter fish kills" may be possible at some Forest Preserve lakes and ponds. These kills are caused by heavy snow cover over thick ice, blocking sunlight from penetrating the water. The lack of light prevents the aquatic plants in the lake from producing oxygen. Reduced levels of dissolved oxygen in the water could result in the suffocation and death of fish. As the ice melts, the fish become more noticeable at the surface and along shorelines.

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Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County