Forest Preserve hosts online ‘Turtle Tuesday’ and ‘Where the Critters Live’ programs this week

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s series of online programs will continue the week of May 11 with two Facebook Live events designed to enlighten and entertain during the state’s coronavirus-related stay-at-home order.

The live programs will air on the District’s Facebook page, So tune in from the comfort of your home and feel free to ask questions by posting Facebook comments. So far the series has featured bird-watching and wildflower hikes.

Up this week are two new topics:

Turtle Tuesday
Noon, Tuesday, May 12

Interpretive naturalist Jen Guest will host this turtle time virtual outing. She will talk about Blanding’s turtles as a species, but also how they compare to other more common turtles in Illinois and how their shells, feet, heads, mouths and eyes have adapted to their environment. Guest also will discuss how Blanding’s turtles are an endangered species and why the Forest Preserve District has ambassador turtles on display. Part of the presentation will include information on the regional Blanding’s Head Start program where local agencies, including the Forest Preserve District of Will County, raise hatchling turtles to release into the wild in an effort to help the species survive. Other topics will include diet and life cycles.

Where the Critters Live
Noon, Thursday, May 14

Interpretive naturalist Jessica McQuown’s hike will focus on the different ways native animals build homes in the forest preserves. She will discuss how some creatures nest in trees, others live underground and some don’t have permanent homes. Some of the species highlighted will depend on what is out and about during the hike, but wood ducks are a definite topic for discussion. McQuown also will highlight exceptional animal moms.

“There is a huge range in how animal moms take care of their offspring,” she said. “Animals take so many different approaches to motherhood that we’ll be just skimming the surface. Spring is one of the best times to see moms in action because whether they have newly born or hatched young or they’re just getting their nests ready, everyone is active and on display. Animal homes become activity hot spots and spring is a great time to learn about them.”

Weather could postpone some of these virtual programs, but they will be rescheduled, if possible, and new dates and times will be published on the District’s website,, and Facebook page.