Nature Cat

The Forest Preserves and Nature Cat are teaming up to get more kids exploring outdoors.


Meet Nature Cat at Forest Preserves events! You can also track Nature Cat throughout the Forest Preserves by participating in some of his favorite activities and discovering new sites to explore.


Take your family on an adventure and track your progress by placing a Nature Cat paw print sticker on your Forest Preserves map (available at any of our Nature Centers, campgrounds or Nature Cat events) at each site you visit. Keep a journal of your experiences, and ask each member of your outdoor adventure team to record their favorite sites and activities.


  • What nature observations did you discover?
  • What do you think you would find if you visited in a different season?
  • Can you find any evidence that Nature Cat may have been here?
  • Did you encounter any other animals?


Once you have logged 10 or more adventures, bring your map full of stickers and your adventure journal to any of our Nature Centers, campgrounds or Nature Cat events to claim your one of a kind Forest Preserves of Cook County and Nature Cat Adventure Badge.


Call 312-415-2970 or email for more information.


Tally Ho Adventurers!



Here are some suggestions of great places to start your exploring:


Want to explore a marsh?


Explore bird and butterfly habitats, or look for insects.
Our six Nature Centers are a great place to start. Also try Bluff Spring Fen, Theodore Stone Forest, Thaddeus S. “Ted” Lechowicz Woods or at upcoming birding events.


Want to paddle?
Check out Forest Preserves free paddling events or rent a canoe, kayak or rowboat.


Participate in an evening event.
While most preserves are closed at sundown, many of our sites have evening programs throughout the year where you and your family can learn the habits of nocturnal animals and observe the wonders of the night sky.


Find the best areas to see a variety of plants growing together.
Learn how their seeds will travel in the fall. Create your own scavenger hunt. Figure out ways you can help the environment, both in the Forest Preserves and in your own backyard.



About Nature Cat

PBS KIDS’ new series NATURE CAT follows Fred, a house cat who dreams of exploring the great outdoors. In each episode, once his family leaves for the day, Fred transforms into Nature Cat, “backyard explorer extraordinaire.” Nature Cat can’t wait to get outside for a day of backyard nature excursions and bravery, but there’s one problem: He’s still a house cat with no instincts for nature. Like many of today’s kids, Nature Cat is eager and enthusiastic about outside activities, but is at times intimidated by them. With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures that include exciting missions full of nature investigation, “aha” discovery moments and humor, all while inspiring children to go outside and “play the show.” Visit for more information.

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Nature Cat Events

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