Autumn Olive, Buckthorn and Privet, Oh My!

By Audra Ebling Once you see them, you can’t un-see them. Invasive plant species, that is. They are everywhere. My first personal experience with invasive species occurred when we bought a house on the north side of Chicago in the mid 90s that had a morning glory-type vine crawling its way up the garage. Charming, …

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Invasive Species Awareness Week: Burning Bush

By: Mary Nell Murphy While driving on Hwy 12 near the Indiana Dunes parks last fall, I stopped at a wayside for a stretch break and looked across the road to a sea of watermelon pink under the forest canopy. Delightful? No! As I suspected, and as I confirmed “upon further review of the field” …

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Invasive Species Awareness Week: Oriental Bittersweet

By: Glenn Major As a child, our mother sent us out to collect Bittersweet vines. Their attractive fruit mixed with gourds from the garden made for a festive holiday decoration of table or mantle. Folks wove them into colorful Christmas wreaths and candle rings. There lies the problem; these attractive vines imported from Asia in …

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Drama on Damon Run: Mink Monitoring Part 3

This story is part of an ongoing wildlife monitoring project along a tributary of Salt Creek, Damon Run,  that meanders through Meadowbrook Nature Preserve. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up!   By: Jim Haniford Nothing prepared me for winter through the lens of the trail camera.  Once Sarah fine-tuned its sensitivity, …

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Hikers at Lydic Bog Nature Presreve

Winter Hiking? Sure!

Winter Hiking? Sure! By Evie Kirkwood Many avid warm weather hikers shun the chill of winter, but it’s a great time to be on the trails. If you’ve stayed away from winter hiking, wary of slippery or cold conditions, the right gear can improve the experience.

photo of fungus on tree trunk

Home Sweet Forest Home

By Glenn N. Major You can call them snags, nurse logs, stumps… Forestry folks call them “coarse woody debris”. Much of the life in our forests call them home.  Some of us this think they are natural modern art. They are so important to forest ecology. That is why we let them lay where they …

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Bags of neatly labled plant seed

Discovering a New Passion in The Great Marsh

By Dale Nichols Given the right growing conditions, the budding seed of curiosity can sometimes blossom into a wonderful new passion.  My name is Dale Nichols, and this is a story about a three-and-a-half-month journey of discovery involving my own curiosity with, well, seeds—more specifically the seeds of native plants growing in the Shirley Heinze …

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