Bolingbrook man’s milkweed beetle picture wins July photo contest
Bolingbrook resident Greg Johnson’s photo of a red milkweed beetle nestled in a milkweed leaf at Whalon Lake won July’s portion of the Forest Preserve District’s Preserve the Moment photo contest. The photo shows the beetle cupped in a leaf that is serving as the creature’s lunch. Honorable mentions for the month went to: Eileen Capodice of Minooka, Michelle Wendling of Joliet, Mark Hanna of Romeoville and Ronald Kapala of Shorewood. All of the photo entries can be viewed at For more information on Johnson’s winning shot and details about the contest, which continues through Dec. 31, visit

‘What’s Bugging Belva?’ exhibit explores the wonderful world of insects
The free, all-ages “What’s Bugging Belva?” exhibit will lead visitors into the amazing world of insects from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 at the Forest Preserve District’sPlum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. The exhibit, which features a young box elder bug named Belva and her Grandpa Belvedere, will help children and their families understand the vital part insects play in the ecosystem at large. To find out more about why Belva is bugged, visit

Self-paced ‘Woods Walk’ program begins Sept. 1
The Forest Preserve District’s popular “Woods Walk” hiking program, which encourages participants to discover new trails or get reacquainted with old favorites, begins Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 30. Hikers who complete seven of 10 designated trails will receive a collector’s medal. This year’s trail trips vary in length from 0.7 to 3.47 miles. Trails selected for the 2019 program are located in Channahon, Crest Hill, Joliet, Mokena, Monee Township, Naperville, Shorewood, Troy Township and Wilmington. Information on the program and how to obtain a trail log is available at

For Barb Ferry, raising monarchs is more than a hobby
Longtime Forest Preserve District volunteer Barb Ferry has released hundreds of monarchs in the past seven years. Last year alone, 150 monarchs made their way into the wild after eclosing, or emerging, at Ferry’s Hickory Hills home. She believes raising butterflies is a way to educate the public about the importance of monarchs as pollinators and about pollinators in general. Her yard has been certified as a Monarch Watch Monarch Waystation and Ferry is working on having it certified as a wildlife habitat. For more on Ferry and her monarchs, visit

Lake Renwick Heron Rookery reopens August 16 for general use
Now that hundreds of birds born this year at Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve in Plainfield are old enough to fend for themselves, the site will reopen Aug. 16 for general use. The preserve and its 1.45-mile crushed limestone trail will be open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily through Feb. 28. The 839-acre site has restricted access each year from March 1 through Aug. 15 to protect the birds that nest there, including bald eagles, great blue herons, great egrets, double-crested cormorants, black-crowned night herons, songbirds and more. To learn all about the Forest Preserve District site and why it closes each year during nesting season, visit

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Bolingbrook resident Greg Johnson’s milkweed beetle photo won July’s portion of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Preserve the Moment photo contest. Johnson’s photo and eight other monthly winners will vie for top honors via the Forest Preserve’s Facebook page,, after the contest concludes on Dec. 31. (Photo courtesy of Greg Johnson)