Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

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September 12, 2014
Black-Crowned Night Herons Thriving

Last winter the Chicago Park District, after consulting with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Urban Wildlife Institute, made the very difficult decision to remove a number of trees south of Nature Boardwalk in Lincoln Park. Many of these trees were ash that suffered terrible damage at the hands (well, actually mouths) of the emerald ash borer beetle, and became safety concerns.

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January 4, 2013
A Cold Crossing

A frosty update from Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo—yesterday’s survey turned up these raccoon tracks on the ice.

November 27, 2012
Ice Work if You Can Get It

If you’ve recently strolled around Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, you may have noticed its icy disposition. Specifically, oddly configured, jagged chunks of ice positioned near plantings surrounding the South Pond.

November 9, 2012
Painted Turtle Relocation and Monitoring at Nature Boardwalk

Its radio transmitter visible, a painted turtle swims in the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

November 1, 2012
Joining the “Dark Side”

Have you ever seen a black squirrel around Chicago? This squirrel, photographed by one our motion-triggered cameras, is not a rare species but rather an eastern gray squirrel with melanism.

September 26, 2012
Plant of the Week: Bottle Gentian

The introverted bottle gentian is all hue and no cry. This perennial, currently in brief bloom, displays richly violet, bottle-shaped flowers that never open. The corolla (petals) remains closed even when the flower is ready to receive pollinating insects.

September 11, 2012
Plant of the Week: Yellow Giant Hyssop

The yellow giant hyssop brandishes dense, cylindrical flower spikes that resemble a miniature choir of cacti. The spikes emerge atop stout, square, branching stems and measure 4 to 16 inches long, depending on the size and maturity of the plant.

September 7, 2012
Web Masters

Spiders are incredibly diverse, with around 40,000 different species worldwide. Some spiders roam across the ground actively hunting for prey, while others construct complex webs to capture anything unfortunate enough to fly, jump or fall into them.

Researchers at the Urban Wildlife Institute often encounter spiders in the grass or on trees at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

August 31, 2012
Plant of the Week: Little Bluestem

This attractive prairie grass is a tussock, or bunch, grass: it grows as a singular plant in clumps, tufts or bunches. It displays blue and silver-tinted stems and leaves in the spring that turn to lovely shades of wine-red in fall.

August 20, 2012
Plant of the Week: Blue Vervain

Rising from the ground up to 5 feet, this slender perennial of the mint family resembles an Indian mystic’s rope trick, with erect cord-like stems that delicately sway in the breeze. Blue vervain’s green or red stems are actually squarish and four-angled, terminating in flowering spikes. The spikes are densely crowded with scentless, reddish-blue or violet flowers.

August 8, 2012
Plant of the Week: Rattlesnake Master

Its common name sounds like an ominous villain in a western. But this odd member of the carrot family—sporting yucca-like leaves and prickly balls of flowers—is simply a tall wildflower prairie species with a unique appearance and colorful past.

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