Saturday, June 28, 2008

Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Summer is a great time to visit the Willowbrook Wildlife Center. The Center is one of the educational facilities of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Its purpose is to rehabilitate injured animals for eventual release, when possible, and to educate the public "...on the biological and ecosystems current and native to this area." Children really love seeing the wild animals up close. To name just a few of the animals that call Willowbrook home - bald eagle, peregrine falcon, barn owl, turkey vulture, red fox, raccoon, opossum, and many more. There are naturalists available to tell about the animals. Admission is whatever you care to drop into the voluntary collection box just outside the door into the Center. Or perhaps you might want to bring in something on their wish list.

Three new residents to the Center were in the news. We have a bobcat that was hit by a car. It has recovered from its injuries, except for impaired vision. Because of the eye injury, the cat would not be able to survive in the wild. So we have him in a temporary home while we build him a larger enclosure.

The other two are a couple of Sandhill Cranes that we inherited with the St. James Farm Forest Preserve. They were part of a program to foster Whooping Cranes. Pui and Nebula will soon have a new enclosure at Willowbrook. The Concert for the Cranes was a benefit to help raise money for the new digs. (Concert photos)

Willowbrook Wildlife Center is located at 525 S. Park Boulevard in Glen Ellyn.
Phone: (630) 942-6200

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Learn Archery - Free

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is offering free archery lessons this summer. (Read this article for times and places.) Archery is a relatively inexpensive sport that can be enjoyed by both young and old. At the lesson you will learn a lot of things. Which eye is your dominant eye. How to hold a bow. You might even discover a couple of muscles that you did not know you had.

I have found that people that come out... to check it out... rave about... archery.

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Shutting The Gate After The Horses Are Gone

I noticed that the European Union has just approved new sanctions against Iran. This is because of Iran's pursuit of nuclear development with the potential of it developing nuclear weapons. Thanks for following the United States lead, which froze Iran's assets last year.

Of course, it might have been a more effective measure if the EU didn't wait until Iran withdrew $75,000,000,000 out of European banks a week or so ago.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

NAHC Part 2

Bill Weidner (Director of Public Affairs) and I gave a brief presentation about what one can do this summer in the forest preserves to the Naperville Area Homeowner's Confederation. The theme was 'Fun things to do in and around Naperville'. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has many programs at our education centers. We also spoke to the many unstructured things that one can do on their own.

Whether you bike, hike, bird watch, fish, jog, fly model planes,... and so much more, the Forest Preserves have many opportunities for you. Come on out and enjoy your preserves.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Naperville Homeowner's Confederation

Last Saturday I went on the Naperville Homeowner's Confederation's (NHC) bus tour of Naperville. It is a tour that they do every year to point out the new developments around town. I go on these trips for several reasons. First, it is an opportunity to contact many of the different communities at one event. The NHC is mainly composed of the presidents of the various homeowner's associations around town. This way I can get a feel for the wants and needs throughout the town. Second, I can find out how various developments will affect the Forest Preserve District by chatting with Naperville's staff. Third, I can speak to points of interest about the Forest Preserve District as we travel around.

Items that I pointed out on the tour: 1) The dam modifications the District is proposing in McDowell Grove. This improvement will be funded by federal grants. What amazed many people was that the removal of dam will actually increase stormwater storage. 2) An update as to what is going on at Country Lakes. This case we won last fall, but it is currently under an appeal. 3) I laid out in detail the meander project at Springbrook Prairie FP. It was truly a wonderful cooperative effort of the District with the City of Naperville, Dupage County, the Naperville Park District, the State of Illinois, and the U.S. governments. It has a very positive environmental effect while providing a significant amount of stormwater storage. Improving habitat is important as we have three protected species in the area. (The Henslow sparrow, the Short-eared owl, and the Northern harrier.)

I am not done with this group. Next Saturday, June 21, I will be back to give a presentation about fun things to do in and around Naperville in our preserves. If you are interested, come on out. The meeting starts at 8:00 a.m. at the Naperville City Hall in Rooms A & B.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dam Modification Information Meeting

Dam modifications in Warrenville Grove and McDowell Grove are on the drawing table. This is your chance to look at the plans and give us your two cents. The meeting is being put on by the DuPage County Stormwater Management and the Forest Preserve District of Dupage County.

The meeting will be at the Warrenville City Hall, in the Council Chamber. The address is 28 W 701 Stafford Place. The date is Thursday June 12 from 7 pm to 9 pm. There will also be several experts available to answer your questions.

The modifications are part of an overall landscape view of the West Branch of the DuPage River. This work will improve water quality, increase flood water storage behind Fawell Dam, reduce portages for paddlers, improve the fisheries, expand the habitat for other animals, and more. The bottom line is a better environment, better recreational opportunities, and less of the DuPage River in the basements of County residents. That sounds good to me.