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Nature

Mountains of debris mar the Orland Grassland Project but officials say the future of the site will be "breathtaking." (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Grassland Project hoping for ‘great gain’ despite current pains

The current landscape at the Orland Grassland Project is unsightly to many, with heavy equipment and piles of debris from tree removal littering parts of the 960-acre … Read more ›

Homer Glen takes precautions against ash borer, applies for grant

In an effort to protect its trees from the destructive emerald ash borer, the Village of Homer Glen plans to apply for a competitive grant … Read more ›

Bald Eagles roost in high trees here in Illinois at Starved Rock State Park.  Photo by Don Dziedzina
From the community

Bald Eagles at Starved Rock

Have you ever been on a fishing trip in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan or Canada and got a glimpse of an American Bald Eagle flying … Read more ›

Cook County Forest Preserve looking to buy land

With real estate prices low, the Cook County Forest Preserve District is planning to snap up land on the cheap next year to add to … Read more ›

MET-AJ-1-TALLGRASS-PRAIRIE

Restoring prairies in the Prairie State

Illinois may be known as the Prairie State, but today only 0.01 percent of the state’s prairies remain. Now, an ambitious plan for Midewin National … Read more ›

McHenry County shows off a leafy coat of many colors Monday, as seen from a hot-air balloon. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / October 14, 2011)

Leaf colors nearing their peak

As the days grow shorter, tree leaves steal the orange glow of the waning sun. Their palette is nearing its peak now, infusing the natural … Read more ›

Cook County Forest Preserve to cut 9,000 diseased trees

The Cook County Forest Preserve is planning to cut down about 9,000 diseased trees. County officials say all the targeted trees will be cut by … Read more ›

Early morning fog at Northside Park in Wheaton. (Photo submitted by Joni Eskridge)

Fall Fog wins photo contest

A picture of early morning fog at Northside Park in Wheaton is this week’s TribLocal photo contest winner. As a prize, the author, Joni Eskridge, will … Read more ›

Cook County Forest Preserve District considers recreation expansion

Imagine zip lining over leafy trees, scrambling up a rope course or enjoying a concert under a big blue sky. That’s not an ad for … Read more ›

A butterfly makes a stop at a marsh blazing star in the Theodore Stone Forest Preserve in Hodgkins. “Now is a good time to come to a prairie because the plants are pretty glorious,” says Barbara Birmingham, one of three site stewards at the preserve. (Brent Lewis, Chicago Tribune / August 31, 2011)

The prairie hits its peak in August

Your reward for braving the bugs will be a walk through tall grasses and sometimes taller flowers — yellow prairie dock, purple blazing stars, black-eyed … Read more ›