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The James Woodworth Prairie Preserve is a rare remnant of original Illinois prairie. (Frank Mayfield / Flickr)

The Illinois Native Plant Society is hosting a Facebook Live virtual hike through James Woodworth Prairie Preserve on Saturday.

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"Chicago Transit Hikes" showcases trails accessible via CTA, Metro or the South Shore Line. (Credits: Patty Wetli / WTTW News; Belt Publishing; Lindsay Welbers)

A new guidebook showcases the region’s best hiking trails accessible via the CTA, Metra or the South Shore Line. Because someday, we’ll ride trains again.

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A Chicago police vehicle blocks the track at Mandrake Park on the city’s South Side. (WTTW News)

Despite restricted access to the lakefront and its adjacent parks during the pandemic, most Chicago parks are supposed to be open. Why some residents and park advocates are concerned about equitable access to these much-needed spaces.

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Campgrounds at Illinois state parks are reopened, with new guidelines in place. (Kelle Cruz / Flickr)

First of all, take note that “reopened” doesn’t mean “back to normal.” Guidelines, including limiting campsites and campfires to registered occupants, are in place.

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NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken, during a launch rehearsal. (NASA HQ Photo / Flickr)

It’s a big day for NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX as they send humans into space Wednesday, the first crewed launch from American soil since 2011 and the first by a private firm.

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A lawsuit to block construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park continues to wind its way through the courts. (Courtesy of The Obama Foundation)

After hearing oral arguments last week, appeals court judges are questioning whether a lawsuit against the construction of the Obama Presidential Center has any standing in federal court.

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Do these look like weeds? Native plants can create a beautiful landscape that's more eco-friendly than grass. (Ron Frazier / Flickr)

People have been spending a lot of time in their yards, and it seems that’s led to plenty of folks jumping on the native plant bandwagon, if a sold-out series of webinars is any indication.

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The Crown Fountain in Millennium Park is the type of amenity that earned Chicago’s parks top ParkScore marks. (R Boed / Flickr)

In an annual ranking by The Trust for Public Land, Chicago’s park system came in 10th out of the nation’s 100 largest cities, earning high marks for accessibility and amenities.

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The bumble bee is one of hundreds of species of bees native to Illinois. (Judy Gallagher / Flickr)

The United Nations created World Bee Day to raise awareness of these pollinators and the threats they face. The honey bee may get all the glory, but there are 400-500 species of bees native to Illinois. 

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Record rainfall in May has caused the Chicago River to rise and has taxed the region’s storm sewers. (WTTW News)

For the third year in a row, Chicago has set a new record for the most precipitation in May. But as rainy as it’s been, it will take an epic deluge to rival the city’s wettest month of all time.

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Too many visitors are flocking to the most popular forest preserves and ignoring social distancing rules. (Raed Mansour / Flickr)

Memorial Day is traditionally one of the busiest weekends in the Forest Preserves, but because of COVID-19, people are being encouraged to hold cookouts, picnics and other holiday activities at home this year.

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Chicago River stormwater diversion tunnel at work, with water flowing from the outtake. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Early Monday morning, the North Branch Chicago River gauge at Pulaski Road showed the waterway at 17.87 feet, inches away from the river's "minor" flood level at 18 feet, according to National Weather Service data.

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Components of the RapidVent (Courtesy of the University of Illinois)

The electronics company is collaborating with the university to produce the FlexVent, a gas-operated ventilator “based on the Illinois RapidVent concept” that was developed in response to COVID-19.

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Dandelions are an important food source for pollinators, especially in the spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The dandelion — a once-prized plant that gardeners used to exhibit at county fairs — now holds the title of Public Lawn Enemy No. 1. But is this reputation deserved?

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The DuSable Bridge (Marcin Wichary / Flickr)

The bridge, which spans the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue, paved the way for development of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Tune in at 7 p.m. Thursday to celebrate its past and present.

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Individual litter cleanup efforts will have to replace the Chicago River Day group event this year due to the coronavirus. (Courtesy Friends of the Chicago River)

The organization had to cancel its Chicago River Day cleanup due to the coronavirus. Instead of bringing thousands of volunteers together for a one-day event, the new Summer Challenge encourages people to pick up litter in their neighborhoods.

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