As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here
If you are looking for an educational and entertaining diversion during this time of social distancing, tune into the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s "Reptiles Gone Wild!" Facebook Live event at noon March 20 to see Plum Creek Nature Center's resident reptiles get the run of the building.
Creatures that will be racing or slithering around the nature center include: Bluey, the Forest Preserve's new blue-tongued skink; box turtles Lilo and Stitch; and Penny the ball python, a news release stated. Once the livestream on Facebook begins, it will be pinned to the top of the District’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/WillCoForests to make it easy to find. The virtual tour is a way for Forest Preserve fans to stay engaged with the organization while all visitor centers are closed.
Interpretive naturalist Suzy Lyttle will be interacting with the nature center's animals, letting them roam around, and she will answer questions posed by the public via Facebook comments.
"This will hopefully bring people a little entertainment at home," Lyttle said. "Even though the nature center isn’t open to the public right now, we want to bring the nature center to them. This will be a great time to see the reptiles on the move instead of their usual position, hiding under their logs. Our reptiles all have great personalities. They are curious and active when they want to be."
This livestream is the first of several that the Forest Preserve will host in the coming weeks.
Future features and existing resources
During this health emergency, it is important to continue to provide interesting material for Forest Preserve visitors of all ages via social media and the Forest Preserve’s website at ReconnectWithNature.org, the release stated. Future livestreams will feature the Blanding’s turtles at Isle a la Cache and other exhibits and nature sites throughout the District.
Forest Preserve staff also will be writing stories on ways to stay busy or entertained while at home, and their favorite things about nature called “Things You Love.” The first story in the series [www.reconnectwithnature.org/news-events/the-buzz/things-we-love-gangling-great-blue-herons], "Things We Love: Those Gangling Great Blue Herons," has been posted on The Buzz section of the website.
Existing Forest Preserve District resources include:
• Willy’s Wilderness, [willyswilderness.org], a kid-oriented website, features fun things to do, nature facts and more. For instance, current “Try It” activities listed on the site are: Ivory Soap Is All You Need To Make Your Own Clouds; Ready, Set, Launch: Make Your Favorite Critters Fly; and Turn Your Old DVDs and CDs Into Outdoor Art.
• The News and Events section on the District’s website includes Current Headlines as well as in-depth features and videos. Check out the Big Picture section for information on all kinds of creatures, seasonal changes and more. The Buzz offers Creature Features, Quizzes and a Tournament of Birds.
• Forest Preserve social media platforms also are a fun way to stay in touch with nature. Check out the District’s Will County Wildlife page at Facebook.com/groups/WillCountyWildlife, or the Forest Preserve’s other social media accounts.