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Lake County Nature


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Nature doesn’t have to start with a capital N.

For many people, Nature starts with a capital N. When they think of meaningful experiences in the outdoors, their minds may turn toward grand vistas in national parks and long road trips to faraway destinations. But what might be most beneficial for our health and environment is finding nature, with a lowercase n, closer to home—such as the 31,000-plus acres that make up the Lake County Forest Preserves in northern Illinois.

This blog is an effort to keep readers informed of current natural events and offer suggestions for exploring nature in Lake County, Illinois.

About the author: Jen Berlinghof is a graduate of Loyola University and The National Outdoor Leadership School, as well as a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. Her work as an outdoor guide and naturalist has taken her from the canyonlands of Utah to the shores of Lake Superior. Since 2003, she has been discovering nature near her hometown and working as an Environmental Educator for the Lake County Forest Preserves in northern Illinois.

About the editor: Brett Peto has served as Environmental Communications Specialist for the Lake County Forest Preserves since 2017. A graduate of Elmhurst College in 2015, Peto edits copy, selects and retouches photos, and ponders the Latin roots of species names in his spare time. Ever since his first science column in the college newspaper, Peto has found fun in the broad accessibility and deep understanding of complex subjects that effective science writing requires.

Lake County History


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At the Dunn Museum, we share the entwined stories of people, events and nature through exhibitions, education and community engagement. Our passion is to explore history as a vibrant force that connects us through time. The Dunn Museum is among only five percent of museums nationally to have earned accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, an industry mark of distinction. Operated by the Lake County Forest Preserves and located in Libertyville, Illinois, the Dunn Museum is named for Bess Bower Dunn (1877–1959), Lake County’s first official historian.

About the author: Diana Dretske is the Curator and Lake County historian for the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County. Dretske is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for making outstanding contributions in promoting, preserving and commemorating Illinois history.

Diana Dretske is the author of many Lake County, Illinois books. Purchase a copy from the Museum’s gift shop or view our book selection online.