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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Is there a middle ground between obliterating leaves and letting nature take its course? We asked an expert from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

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Sandhill cranes. (ladymacbeth / Pixabay)

More than 25,000 migrating sandhill cranes are making a pit stop at Indiana’s Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. The bird’s numbers have rebounded thanks to wetland conservation efforts, but now climate change threatens to undo that progress. 

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The Cook County Forest Preserves have offered respite during the pandemic. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

Throughout the pandemic, nature has proved its worth as an outlet and resource, benefiting people’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. Now the question is, will people return the favor?

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Monarch butterflies migrate en masse, but they aren’t social creatures, scientists say. (Mageephoto / Pixabay)

Traveling more than 2,000 miles every year, the migration journey of monarch butterflies links the United States and Mexico in a way no trade agreement or cultural exchange ever could.

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In this Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took legal action Friday to shut down a pipeline that carries oil beneath a channel linking two of the Great Lakes.

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

From a sociological perspective, we rake because no one wants to be the neighbor with the messy lawn, but ecologically speaking, the benefits of a little mess outweigh the merits of a pristine yard.

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In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, file photo, pieces of stag horn coral are shown growing in Nova Southeastern University’s offshore coral reef nursery in about 22 feet of water, near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee, File)

A first-of-its-kind assessment of coral reefs in U.S. waters is again sounding the alarm over the continued decline of these sensitive underwater ecosystems, which scientists deem essential to the health of the world’s oceans.

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Monarch butterflies have started their 2,000-mile migration south to Mexico. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The annual migration of monarch butterflies is currently at its peak in the Chicago area. Several roosting sites have been spotted around town as the creatures use the city as a pit stop on their 2,000-mile journey to Mexico.

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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.

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Hundreds of millions of birds are migrating through the U.S. Sept. 3-6. (hollandevens / Pixabay)

Chicago’s bright lights lure birds from their migratory path. With hundreds of thousands of birds passing overhead this weekend, the city needs to dim its glow. 

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Yosemite park ranger Shelton Johnson makes a strong case for representation and inclusivity. (The Nature Conservancy / YouTube)

The weeklong social media campaign coincides with the 104th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service on Aug. 25.

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Floating habitat being positioned on the Chicago River. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

Rafts loaded with plants floated down the Chicago River last week, a strange sight that in decades past might have been the result of some sort of bizarre garbage spill but these days is a sure sign of the waterway’s ongoing “re-wilding.”

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The Global FinPrint project is the first-ever worldwide survey of reef sharks. (Global FinPrint / Facebook)

Shedd Aquarium volunteer Betty Goldberg took citizen science to the next level, contributing a massive number of hours to a global survey of reef sharks. 

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

More than 500 names were submitted for the chicks, which hatched in June, and the selected monikers reflect the history and spirit of Chicago.

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Bison at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. (USDA Forest Service)

July is National Bison Month — who knew? Here’s where you can catch buffalo roaming, close to home, in Illinois and Indiana.

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

The three chicks hatched in mid-June and now local birding organizations have created a contest to give them names. Submissions are open through Wednesday.

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