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If marsh birds like the pied-billed grebe, pictured, return to Powderhorn Lake, conservationists will judge the wetlands restoration a success. (simardfrancois / Pixabay)

A wetlands restoration project is underway at Powderhorn Lake Forest Preserve in the Calumet region, where construction of a human-made water control device will recreate a more natural system of drainage.

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Native plants are highly beneficial for the environment, but they often get mistaken for weeds. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The creation of the Native and Pollinator Garden Registry means Chicago gardeners now have protection from overzealous ticket writers. And plants like milkweed can take their rightful place alongside other “flowers” instead of being mistaken for weeds.

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Monarch butterflies roosting in Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. (Courtesy of Ron Kapala)

Large numbers of monarch butterflies are making a pit stop at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie during their annual fall migration. That’s just one of the ways to enjoy and explore nature this weekend.

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Modern sunbirds also have long tail feathers. (Jason Weckstein / The Field Museum)

Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a bird that lived 120 million years ago, and it definitely had flair, including unusually long tail feathers. These flashy feathers probably didn’t help the bird achieve aerodynamic flight, but they might have helped him find a mate, according to new research.

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(Filmbetrachter / Pixabay)

Under the new law, restaurants will only provide single-use plastic utensils by request. Supporters called the ordinance an important first step toward waste reduction but opponents said it will do little to stem the plastic tsunami.

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The endangered rusty patched bumble bee. (Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Four years after the rusty patched bumble bee was placed on the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its final recovery plan for the insect, a plan critics say manages to go too far and yet not far enough at the same time.

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Current zoo director Dr. Megan Ross, Ph.D., has been selected to lead the venerable institution when current president and CEO Kevin Bell steps down at the end of the year. (Credit: Lisa Miller)

Dr. Megan Ross, an animal behavior specialist, joined the zoo as curator of birds in 2000 and will be the first woman to lead the zoo in its 153-year history.

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(WTTW News)

The nonprofit El Valor has raised thousands of monarchs, and each year the community comes together for a butterfly release. 

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Wooded Island’s Japanese Garden, in spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“I know people are upset but you can’t tell me there’s not bad activity there after dark,” Mike Kelly, CEO of the Chicago Park District, said in defense of gates the agency installed that are now at the center of another controversy brewing at Jackson Park.

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(Pixabay)

Temperatures edged out the record for the continental U.S. set back in 1936 during the “Dust Bowl” summer, according to the latest climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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A piece of Lincoln Park's history can be found in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in suburban Darien is roughly 30 miles and a world away from downtown Chicago, but this is where a section of the city’s prized lakefront once rested. 

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A red-rumped parrot, one of the bird species that has seen its bill size increase. (Credit: Ryan Barnaby)

Some warm-blooded animals are experiencing shifts in their body shapes, likely as a response to the pressures of climate change, according to a new review of existing research.

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A Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth at Brookfield Zoo receives a COVID-19 vaccine. (Cathy Bazzoni / Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo)

Animals at Brookfield Zoo have begun receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, with Lincoln Park Zoo soon to follow, as federal and state officials approved the use of the inoculations.

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Downed power lines slump over a road in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Reserve, La. (AP Photo / Matt Slocum)

Power out, high voltage lines on the ground, weeks until electricity is restored in some places: The dismal state of power in Hurricane Ida’s wake is a distressingly familiar scenario for Entergy Corp., Louisiana’s largest electrical utility.

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One of the 2020 photo contest winners, taken at Oak Forest Heritage Preserve. (Credit: Sharon Dobben)

Dig those images of flowers, birds and trees out of the iCloud and enter them in the forest preserve district’s annual photo contest. Winning images will be featured in the district’s 2022 calendar. 

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More than 30 million migrating birds will pass over Illinois in the coming days. (Dariusz Grosa / Pexels)

With close to 100,000 birds expected to pass over Chicago this weekend, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its partners have issued a “lights out” alert for the city, encouraging building owners and residents to turn off as many lights as possible between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.