Outdoors glance: March 28, 2019

March 28, 2019

Earth Day-themed activities offered at forest preserve

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has plenty of programs to celebrate Earth Day during April.

Programs and volunteer opportunities range from recycling and cleanup efforts to a worm bin composting workshop and safari explorations. Here is a lineup of Earth Day-related activities:Earth Day Safari and H2-WHOA! Exploration Homeschool Days: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 11 at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Home-school students in grades 4-6 will explore the forest with safari gear and visit the nature center’s “H2-WHOA!” exhibit. The cost is $3 per student. Register by April 9 by calling 708-946-2216.

Recycle your bicycle: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 16 and April 28 at Monee Reservoir in Monee Township. Recycle your old bicycle so it can be refurbished for kids and others in need locally and abroad. Bikes can be in any condition; new or beyond repair.

Worm bin workshop: noon to 3 p.m. April 20 at Plum Creek Nature Center. Learn how to make a worm bin and care for it so the worms turn kitchen scraps into compost. Ages 10 and older. The cost is $3 per person. Register by April 11 by calling 708-946-2216.

Fishing for trash: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 23-28 at Monee Reservoir. Visit Monee Reservoir and help keep the preserve free of trash.

Fishing line and other debris pose serious threats to wildlife. Stop by the concessions window, pick up a trash bag and gloves and fill the bag with trash you collect. Return the bag, and receive a free gift.

Earth Day Safari: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23-27, and noon to 4 p.m. April 28 at Plum Creek Nature Center. Visit the nature center and pick up a safari adventure pack containing the tools you need to explore the forest. The pack contains a backpack, safari hats, binoculars, critter containers, magnifying lenses, journals, reference books and more.

Online program registration also is available at ReconnectWithNature.org.

Illinoisans encouraged to leave young wildlife alone

Spring is a busy breeding season for wildlife, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources reminds Illinois citizens not to bother or handle baby birds and other young wild animals.

Wildlife biologists often are contacted during the breeding season by well-meaning people who believe incorrectly that they might be protecting young wildlife by taking possession of baby birds, rabbits, fawn deer and other animals that might appear to have been abandoned or orphaned.

In most cases, these animals and birds still are being cared for by their parents, which likely stay away from dens and nests if people are nearby.

The Illinois Wildlife Code provides legal protection for wildlife.

It’s against the law to keep wild animals as pets or to raise wild animals believed to have been abandoned. Additionally, responses by agencies such as the IDNR to incidents involving wildlife can be costly to taxpayers.

To learn more about potential wildlife conflicts, and keeping people, pets and wildlife safe, visit the new Wildlife Illinois website wildlifeillinois.org/

All wild birds, except the rock pigeon, European starling and house sparrow, are protected by federal law. This includes protection of eggs, nests and feathers. The IDNR works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect and manage birds in Illinois.