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Garfield Park Conservatory is reopening its 10 acres of outdoor gardens in phases. (Courtesy of Garfield Park Conservatory)

Taking a phased approach, the conservatory is reopening its outdoor grounds to neighbors on July 1, members on July 8 and everyone else starting July 15.

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A monarch butterfly feeds on milkweed, which is the sole food source for monarch caterpillars. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Scores of Chicagoans have planted milkweed — the monarch’s host plant — in their yards and other green spaces, but how effective are those efforts? The Field Museum is recruiting citizen scientists to find out.

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(Steve Buissinne / Pixabay)

More than 460 people across the country, including 16 in Illinois, have become ill after coming in contact with poultry in backyard flocks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Regal fritillary butterfly. (Doug Taron)

Similar in size to the monarch, the regal fritillary is also a stunner in the looks department, but the native prairie butterfly has nearly disappeared from Illinois. To save this pollinator, we need to save the prairie.

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(Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

The 150-year-old zoo is preparing to welcome its first visitors since the March coronavirus shutdown. Here’s what you need to know.

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Jeff Skrentny (WTTW News)

More than 200 species of birds have been identified at this small forest preserve, along with hundreds of other living things. We meet up with Jeff Skrentny and several dozen volunteers for a morning of pre-pandemic restoration work.

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In this Aug. 7, 2019, file photo, the queen bee (marked in green) and worker bees move around a hive at the Veterans Affairs in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo / Elise Amendola, File)

American honeybee colonies have bounced back after a bad year, the annual beekeeping survey finds.

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Black bear. (Jitze Couperus / Flickr)

Officials are telling people to keep their distance from the bear. People aren’t listening.

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A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

A pair of endangered piping plovers, nicknamed Monty and Rose, nested once again at Montrose Beach, where their new chicks just hatched. Plover monitors are on the scene to make sure excited visitors don't inadvertently harm the birds.

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A census of the Chicago region's trees, last tallied at 157 million in 2010, is in progress. (Brian Crawford / Flickr)

The 2020 census of the region’s trees — the largest undertaking of its kind in the country — will build on the inaugural 2010 count and help municipalities set priorities for creating healthier green infrastructure, particularly in underserved communities.

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The Chicago Botanic Garden is welcoming visitors back starting June 24. (Chicago Botanic Garden)

To limit the potential for overcrowding, the garden is implementing a timed-ticketed entry policy. Non-members will get their first chance to register for a slot on Friday. Here’s what else you need to know.

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The Shedd Aquarium has shared new photos of its baby penguins, which hatched in May. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

Like any proud new parent, the Shedd Aquarium is sharing adorable photos of its newest arrivals: four Magellanic penguin chicks, all of which hatched in mid-to-late May.

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Chicago’s lakefront trail has been closed since March 26. (WTTW News)

Chicagoans are getting their beloved lakefront trail back, with the reopening of the 18-mile path set for next week. There’s just one condition: You’ve got to “keep it moving,” people.

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Deja Perkins, conducting field research. (Courtesy of Deja Perkins)

Chicago native Deja Perkins was one of the organizers of the recent #BlackBirdersWeek campaign. Her mission is to get more people who look like her interested in wildlife, natural resources, ecology and conservation.

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This 2019 photo provided by Noel Rowe and Centre ValBio shows a golden bamboo lemur in Madagascar. (Noel Rowe / Centre ValBio via AP)

Around the world, government resources diverted to pandemic efforts have opened opportunities for illegal land clearing and poaching. Lockdowns also have derailed the eco-tourism that funds many environmental projects.

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Biologist Amber Wendler is among those taking part in #BlackBirdersWeek. (@amberwendler / Twitter)

The social media campaign running through Friday was founded by 30 African American scientists, birders and nature lovers as a response to the racism encountered by birder Christian Cooper in New York’s Central Park.

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