Stories by Patty Wetli

Even in Winter, Chicago is Still a ‘City in a Garden.’ Take a Closer Look

(Jo ana Kubiak / Lurie Garden)

Lurie Garden's four-season approach to plantings provides a prime example of the beauty and life to be found in a winter garden.

With $900K Grant, Big Improvements Coming to Big Marsh Park — Including City’s 1st Campground

(Courtesy Friends of Big Marsh)

A grant from the state will help fund creation of the Chicago Park District’s first campground and a fully accessible 3-mile trail at Big Marsh, a natural area rising up from the waste of big steel on the city’s Southeast Side.

Captured Coyote, Named Mercy, Won’t Be Euthanized

The injured coyote after it was captured by Chicago Animal Care and Control. (Chicago Animal Care and Control via AP)

The coyote, confirmed to have bitten a young boy, won’t be released back into the wild but will be placed in an educational setting to raise awareness of the need for peaceful coexistence.

Wanna Help the Environment? Lighten Up on the Salt

The MWRD labeled this image “how not to salt.” (Facebook / Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

Overuse of salt as a de-icer can contaminate waterways and harm wildlife. Learn how much is too much – and what eco-friendly options exist.

Myth Busted: It’s NOT TRUE That Property Owners Can Be Sued if Someone Slips on Shoveled Sidewalk

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

On the other hand, property owners can be fined for not shoveling.

New Bucket List for Nature Lovers: The World’s Most Instagrammed Forests

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan (Daniel Peckham / Flickr)

From the Amazon to Jiuzhaigou Valley, the world’s forests are racking up hashtags. But there’s no need to travel out of Cook County in search of photogenic flora.

How Do You Like Your January: Warm or Sunny? Because You Can’t Have Both

If it seems like January is relentlessly gray, you’re not imagining it. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

With 24 days of partly cloudy or straight up cloudy skies, January’s pretty bleak. Unfortunately, it takes a blast of cold northern air to get the sun to come out and play. 

Chicago More Vulnerable to Climate Change than Miami, Says ‘Death and Life of Great Lakes’ Author

(Roman Boed / Flickr)

Author Dan Egan had sobering words for Chicagoans at a One Book, One Chicago event this week.

So Long Spork, See Ya Clamshell: Chicago Moves to Get Rid of Plastic Waste

(Chris Goldberg / Flickr)

Chicago is getting tough on plastic waste. A new city ordinance would, if passed, ban Styrofoam to-go containers and reduce single-use plastic utensils.

Chicago Prepares to Declare Climate Emergency

(Fred Faulkner / Flickr)

A resolution introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting calls for an emergency “climate mobilization” on a scale not seen since WWII.

Brookfield Zoo Euthanizes Second Beloved Lion in Less Than 2 Weeks

Brookfield Zoo lions Zenda, left, and Isis. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Following what appears to have been a tragic accident, the zoo reported the death of its female African lion, Isis, less than two weeks after the loss of her mate, Zenda.