Shop Forest Preserve visitor centers for nature-themed holiday gifts

Three Forest Preserve District of Will County visitor centers stock fair trade and eco-friendly gifts that would be perfect as presents or stocking stuffers for the nature lovers on your holiday list.

The visitor centers – Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township and Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon – also have gift cards available that can be used for camping or picnicking permits, program fees, shelter rentals and more either online or in person. (Gift cards also are sold at the Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet.)

Visit one or all of the centers to find some unique gifts.

Because Isle a la Cache is home to the Forest Preserve District’s Blanding’s turtle tank, the museum stocks figurines, necklaces, magnets and knitted turtles that benefit The Turtleman Foundation, which contributes funding to several sea turtle conservation organizations. The site also sells Amborella Organics lollipops. Each lollipop stick contains seeds for various flowers, herbs and edible plants. Once the lollipops have been eaten, the biodegradable sticks can be planted in soil to grow an herb or flower.

Plum Creek Nature Center also has a wide variety of gift options, including items from Advice from Nature and gifts from the fair trade organization Serrv, including windchimes, bird feeders, jewelry, planters, candle holders, watering cans, gardening tools, gardening stakes, scarves, aprons and hand and leg warmers. And bracelets and necklaces come from Threads of Hope, which is a nonprofit agency that benefits children in the Philippines and helps to protect them from exploitation and human trafficking.

The gifts at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center range from reusable straws to green guides for brides who are planning eco-friendly weddings. Other items that are for sale include: hand-carved pens; nature-themed bracelets and necklaces; nature-themed toys; geodes (both cut and uncut); field guides; cards; walking sticks; and both sparkling and still drinking water in aluminum bottles from a women-owned, net zero company. Four Rivers also has partnered with Massachusetts-based Dean’s Beans® to offer three blends of bird-friendly certified coffee. Each pound of coffee costs $10.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit