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My Life as a Science Promoter – Chicago Nature Center 7/14/11

July 18, 2011

On Thursday July 14, 2011 I visited one of Chicago’s natural hidden gems, the North Park Village Nature Center. Located at 5801 N. Pulaski Road, this place is an oasis of calm hidden in a busy urban environment. I visited here for the first time about a month ago and was taken aback by the serenity available to the Chicago public. I know I’m not the only person who needs to escape the congested & loud Chicago lifestyle. So on this trip I brought a friend of mine to witness this oasis. Since she’s a professional photographer, we’ll be working on a story to bring more awareness of this relaxing, natural wonder located on Chicago’s far north side. Learn more about Erika at www.erikajohnsonphoto.com. Also, these pictures are mine, the quality of hers are much better, which she’s saving for a future story.

My life as a science promoter

Bambi?

When you arrive off of Pulaski Rd. there is a recycling center to your left and plenty of trees to give you the impression that you’d just entered into Pure Michigan. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a deer in the first few seconds, otherwise you’ll have to wait a few minutes. I imagine this is the only location where you can find deer, in this density, in Chicago. Approximately 36 deer roam the 16-acre Nature Center. They have adapted to cohabiting with humans, so don’t be surprised when they walk by within arms reach. Today we saw a young one, who looked a little like Bambi.

Besides the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo and a flower shop, you won’t find as nice a selection of pretty flowers anywhere else in the city. Unfortunately, there would be more except the excessive quantity of deer have upset the balance of nature in this lovely ecosystem. Their food of choice are pretty, tasty flowers. Here are some with a butterfly hanging out:
my life as a science promoter

Along with deer, pretty flowers, and butterflies, of course, you’ll see geese. As we roamed the forest a family of geese came right up to us and said ‘hello.’ But you know, their language is that of a ‘Hsssssss.’ With Mom in front, she probably realized that we were not going to feed her family, so they promptly left. The camera is not zoomed in, this is how close they came:

my life as a science promoter

We also saw a variety of dragonflies including a red one which I didn’t know existed. There was a family of turtles living on an island of lilies, I could hear frogs in the distance; and a collection of birds, including the territorial red-wing blackbird.

I recommend this location to anyone looking for a break from work, the big city, or their busy life. Reachable from the Peterson or Pulaski bus, it’s FREE, and the educators are always willing to teach you a little about the wildlife and history of the North Park Village Nature Center. I bet you don’t know how Chicago got its name? The root of the word still grows here (no pun intended).

Thanks for reading, LET YOU BE YOU!

Tom’s Science Articles of the Day:

National Geographic’s Top 10 beaches in the world @NatGeoMag

Pesticides indicted in bee deaths @Salon

For ducks, penis length depends on the other guys www.sciencenews.org

Climate change is affecting the mightiest of the Great Lakes @WBEZ

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