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Nature Inquiry Adventures

Youth exploring nature through a partnership between the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and U of IL Extension
Nature path

Welcome to the Nature Inquiry Adventures Blog

Posted by Nancy Pollard -

Cook County has more nature areas than any large metropolitan place on the planet. Yet relatively few people visit them. The University of Illinois Extension and Forest Preserve District of Cook County have formed a partnership to bring young people to Forest Preser...

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Cardinal

Take Part in the Great Backyard Bird Count in 2014

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count on February 14-17 in 2014. The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Everyone is welcome--from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like e...

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opposums

Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Check out this video from the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative. The Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative is looking to create new urban partnerships in ten diverse urban cities across America by 2015. Learn More >>>...

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Nature in the News: National Parks Try to Appeal to Minorities

Posted by Ron Wolford -

One in five visitors to a national park site is nonwhite, according to a 2011 University of Wyoming report commissioned by the Park Service, and only about 1 in 10 is Hispanic. Learn More >>>...

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deer crossing

Nature Tip of the Day: Tips on Avoiding Deer-Vehicle Accidents

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Most deer-vehicle accidents (DVAs) occur during the months of October, November and December. Another peak occurs in May and June as one-year old deer are dispersing to new areas. However, DVAs can happen at any time of year. Deer are crepuscular, meaning that they are active at dawn and dusk. Thus, it is not surprising that most accidents involving deer happen between the hours of 5 to 10 p....

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Kids and Nature

Posted by Ron Wolford -

"In nature, children find a place to stimulate their senses--to become more observant and find a sense of freedom and fantasy," said Jane Scherer, University of Illinois Extension urban programs specialist and director of web development. "Research shows that natural spaces and materials stimulate children's imagination and serve as a way to stimulate inventiveness and creativity."...

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chimney birds

Nature Tip of the Day: Wildlife FAQ's

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Do you have birds nesting in your chimney or squirrels in your attic? What do you do if you find a bird or animal in your house? Get answers to these questions and many others at the University of Illinois Extension's Wildlife Frequently Asked Questions website. Learn More >>>...

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Counting the number of growth rings on a tree stump
click image to view 5 more

Nature Inquiry Adventure Field Trips

Posted by Susan Gasper -

Historically, for most humans, being in nature was a way of life. There was no escape; homesteads were immersed in nature. Children grew up surrounded by wildflowers, birdsong, majestic animals, and spiders. Their actions as adults were often influenced by these experiences. But today, right here in Chicago, there are many children that haven't even held a toad or set foot in a woodland. After...

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Schedule a Nature Inquiry Adventure Field Trip

Posted by Susan Gasper -

Do you work with a camp, youth organization or school? Are you looking for engaging, educational and economical field trip options? University of Illinois Extension in Cook County and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County will be offering summer and fall field trips to help children enjoy, explore and understand the wonders of the Forest Preserves!...

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Enter the Second Annual Forest Preserve District of Cook County Photo Contest!

Posted by Ron Wolford -

This is the second annual Forest Preserve District of Cook County photo contest. More than 350 photos were submitted last year. Photos must be of Forest Preserves landscapes, close-ups of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife, pictures that highlight the various seasons, and shots of people enjoying the outdoors or participating in our recreational offerings....

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wolf howling

Nature in the News: Why Do Wolves Howl?

Posted by Ron Wolford -

ABC News: The most ferocious predator in the forest, despised by cattle ranchers and feared by humans and nearly every other animal, has a soft side. Scientists in Austria have found that when wolves howl after being separated from a pack member, they are just showing a little love. Learn...

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Looking for bugs under a log

Register for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Junior Naturalist Program

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Register for the Junior Naturalist program at the River Trail Nature Center . This independent learning program is for kids between the ages of 7 and 12. Three-month sessions begin in September (fall,) December (winter,) March (spring,) and June (summer.)...

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squirrel

Become a Project Squirrel Citizen Scientist

Posted by Ron Wolford -

A lot of people see squirrels as a nuisance as they dig up their bulbs and chew on their tomatoes . Actually we can learn a lot about our environment...

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