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Des Plaines River Trail. (Google)

The trail, which took nearly 60 years to complete, was one of 30 designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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In photo provided by the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, an Asian Giant Hornet wearing a tracking device is shown Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 near Blaine, Wash. (Karla Salp / Washington Dept. of Agriculture via AP)

Scientists in Washington state have discovered the first nest of so-called murder hornets in the United States and plan to wipe it out Saturday to protect native honeybees, officials said.

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(Rene Rauschenberg / Pixabay)

It's getting to be the time of year when young coyotes strike out from home in search of a mate and a territory to call their own. 

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(WTTW News)

Chicago is the six-time holder of a title that no city wants.

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(Veronika_Andrews / Pixabay)

From apples and pumpkins to pig races, hay rides, petting zoos and beyond, we’ve rounded up some options for fall fun in the Chicago area.

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What triggers the internal prompt that tells a tree "Oh hey, winter's coming"? It's a mystery to researchers. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

There’s still a lot that scientists don’t understand about what makes trees tick, especially when it comes to fall color. A team at the Morton Arboretum is working to unlock those secrets.

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Goats and sheep on the job at MWRD's Calumet plant. (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago / Facebook)

A herd of 65 sheep and goats replaced more traditional mowing equipment this summer at MWRD’s Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, where the animals helped maintain the native prairie landscape. 

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The “Dreadhead Cowboy” is seen on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. (Courtesy Vashon Jordan Jr. / @vashon_photo)

Adam Hollingsworth, the man known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” has not yet entered a plea on a felony animal abuse charge, but the condition of the horse he rode for more than 7 miles during rush hour is reportedly improving.

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Holly, the 2019 Fat Bear champ, is looking to defend her crown. (Katmai National Park & Preserve / Facebook)

It’s Fat Bear Week. No, we’re not mocking Matt Nagy’s squad, we’re talking about the annual competition to crown the beefiest brown bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Here’s how to get in on the action.

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Animal rights activists protest Sunday, Sept. 27 in Belmont Cragin. (Grace Del Vecchio / WTTW News)

Protesters lined the corner of Austin Boulevard and Fullerton Avenue on Sunday, holding signs linking animals to viral outbreaks, like Ebola and COVID-19. One sign simply read: “We are one pandemic away from collapse.”

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The “Dreadhead Cowboy” is seen on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. (Courtesy Vashon Jordan Jr. / @vashon_photo)

“Would I do it again? Yes I’d do it again,” said Adam Hollingsworth, also known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” when asked about his protest ride on the expressway Monday. He now faces criminal charges and prosecutors say his horse may not survive.

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The “Dreadhead Cowboy” is seen on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. (Courtesy Vashon Jordan Jr. / @vashon_photo)

The horse ridden on the Dan Ryan Expressway during an impromptu protest Monday by a man known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy” would not have survived without immediate treatment and may still be euthanized, according to prosecutors.

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The wingspan of the American white pelican is second only to the California condor. (Skeeze / Pixabay)

Join a hike Sunday in Will County, where a flock of American white pelicans, one of North America’s largest birds, is hanging out during its annual fall migration.

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The Windy City Coop Tour showcases Chicagoans’ backyard chickens. (Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts / Facebook)

Chicagoans are raising chickens, growing food and experimenting with all sorts of sustainable-living practices — all in their urban backyards. See how it’s done during this weekend’s annual Windy City Coop and Eco-Yards Tour. 

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Alison Newberry and Matt Sparapani in Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. (Courtesy of Alison Newberry and Matt Sparapani)

Matt Sparapani and Alison Newberry weren’t planning to be in Chicago this summer. But like many of us, they had to rethink their plans. What the local teachers have learned about the natural areas of Chicago.

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The original Civilian Conservation Corps planted billions of trees. A renewed CCC could do the same. (Openlands / Facebook)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is proposing the creation of a modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps as a way to put Americans to work while also directing resources toward the nation’s long neglected conservation projects.