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Forest Preserve’s Woodchuck Mascot Branches Out with New Kid-Oriented Website

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s longtime mascot, Willy the Woodchuck, now has his own website at willyswilderness.org. The woodchuck’s website is chock-full of fun activities and nature-related stories. --Photo by Forest Preserve staff/Cindy Cain

After beginning his career as a Forest Preserve District of Will County newsletter columnist in the 1980s, and then morphing into a full-sized furry 3D mascot, Willy the Woodchuck is branching out with his own Willy’s Wilderness website.

The woodchuck’s website, willyswilderness.org, debuted November 14 and is chock-full of fun craft projects, interesting nature stories, plus indoor and outdoor activities. Content is tailored to kids ages three-12, but children of all ages and adults (including parents and grandparents) are invited to spend some time browsing the site.

Willy’s Wilderness will be updated regularly and will reflect the seasons, said Lynn Kurczewski, the Forest Preserve’s director of visitor services. The website includes links to upcoming kid-oriented programs at the district’s visitor centers and preserves, but it also can expand upon those programs.

For instance, if one wants to know how to create a bird feeder out of a plastic bottle, compost in a cup, mosaics out of seeds, or constellations out of marshmallows, the website has the information needed. Willy’s Wilderness also hosts nature-themed “Creature Features” and book recommendations. Currently, the website features stories on how animals pick their winter homes and how plants prepare for colder temperatures.

The tech-savvy mammal even has a new Facebook account. So, to keep up with Willy on social media, visit his website and click on the Facebook icon at the top of the page.

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