DuPage Forest Preserve District

Looking For Wild Turkeys In DuPage County

DuPage Forest Preserve Senior Ranger David Sima (left) and First Light host Brian O’Keefe went looking for wild turkeys at St. James Farm in west Wheaton

DuPage Forest Preserve Senior Ranger David Sima (left) and First Light host Brian O’Keefe went looking for wild turkeys at St. James Farm in west Wheaton

This week, First Light host Brian O’Keefe went into the woods with DuPage Forest Preserve ranger David Sima. It has become increasingly common over the past 10 to 15 years for people to encounter wild turkeys in a number of forest preserves. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, David and Brian met at the St. James Farm Forest Preserve in west Wheaton in hopes of finding one of the county’s flocks of wild turkeys

There are wild turkeys in the DuPage Forest Preserves, but Forest Preserve Senior Ranger David Sima and First Light host Brian O’Keefe weren’t able to find them

There are wild turkeys in the DuPage Forest Preserves, but Forest Preserve Senior Ranger David Sima and First Light host Brian O’Keefe weren’t able to find them

Center Works To Increase Fresh Water Mussels

The Urban Stream Research Center is located just inside the south entrance of Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville.

The Urban Stream Research Center is located just inside the south entrance of Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville.

Just inside the south entrance of the Blackwell Forest Preserve is a small brick building that is doing some remarkable work. The Urban Stream Research Center is in its sixth year of operation, but many people have little or no idea of what goes on in the mysterious little building. Aquatic Research Center Coordinator Jessi DeMartini hopes the recent open house at the Urban Stream Research Center will answer some of those questions. Jessi walked First Light host Brian O’Keefe into the center’s lab and explained what she at the other staffers hope to accomplish.

Tiny fresh water mussels are raised in tanks before being transferred to larger tanks where they grow to maturity.

Tiny fresh water mussels are raised in tanks before being transferred to larger tanks where they grow to maturity.

Groups of fresh water mussels are raised and allowed to grow at the Urban Stream Research Center before eventually being released into area rivers and streams

Groups of fresh water mussels are raised and allowed to grow at the Urban Stream Research Center before eventually being released into area rivers and streams

Tanks hold non-game fish from local rivers and streams. Mussels have a parasitic relationship with the fish that is a key part of the mollusk’s reproductive process

Tanks hold non-game fish from local rivers and streams. Mussels have a parasitic relationship with the fish that is a key part of the mollusk’s reproductive process

Into The Woods: Slithering Through DuPage County

Fox snake is one of the common snake species found across northern Illinois (image courtesy of the DuPage Forest Preserve District)

Fox snake is one of the common snake species found across northern Illinois
(image courtesy of the DuPage Forest Preserve District)

Periodically on First Light, host Brian O'Keefe takes you ‘Into the Woods’ with our friends at the DuPage Forest Preserve District for a look at the local flora and fauna. This week, Brian visited with naturalist Stephanie Touzalin at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Garter snakes are the most commonly seen snake in DuPage County and they can be a great addition to your backyard garden (image courtesy of the DuPage Forest Preserve District)

Garter snakes are the most commonly seen snake in DuPage County and they can be a great addition to your backyard garden (image courtesy of the DuPage Forest Preserve District)

A New 3-Mile Stretch of Regional Trail

Since last summer work crews have been building a new transportation infrastructure project in western DuPage County. Thursday, elected leaders and trails advocates officially opened a new section of the West Branch of the DuPage River Trail. First Light host Brian O'Keefe and Winfield Village President Erik Spande toured a portion of the trail.

Looking north from a boardwalk bridge on the new section of West Branch of The DuPage River Trail

Looking north from a boardwalk bridge on the new section of West Branch of The DuPage River Trail

Heading south on the new section of the West Branch of the DuPage River Trail

Heading south on the new section of the West Branch of the DuPage River Trail

They're Wily...And They're Everywhere

photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

Periodically at First Light, host Brian O'Keefe goes ‘Into The Woods’ to bring you a story about the local floral and fauna, you know the flowers, plants, insects, and critters that call this region home. This week, Brian stopped by the DuPage Forest Preserve District’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn.

photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

Forest Preserve On The Look Out

The DuPage Forest Preserve District rangers are keeping close watch after a visitor reported seeing a cougar recently in Lombard. First Light host Brian O'Keefe talked with District Director of Natural Resources Eric Neidy. He isn’t dismissing the sighting, but says there isn't evidence to back it up either

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Dropping a Line Through The Ice

Ice Fishing at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve

Ice Fishing at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve

Some outdoor activities aren’t possible until the temperature dips below freezing, well below freezing. This week in the ‘Into The Woods’ segment, First Light host Brian O'Keefe took a trip to the Herrick Lake Forest Preserve recently on a cold, damp day and saw several families taking part in one of those activities

DuPage Forest Preserve Ranger Hahnz Teope used sonar to find fish under the ice

DuPage Forest Preserve Ranger Hahnz Teope used sonar to find fish under the ice