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Pets

Woodchuck mascot has new kid-oriented website

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s longtime mascot, Willy the Woodchuck, now has his own website.
The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s longtime mascot, Willy the Woodchuck, now has his own website.

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 debuted Nov. 14, and it is full of fun craft projects, interesting nature stories and indoor and outdoor activities. Content is tailored to kids ages 3 to 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 will include links to upcoming kid-oriented programs at the district’s visitor centers and preserves, but it also can expand upon those programs.

These include how to create a bird feeder out of a plastic bottle, compost in a cup, mosaics out of seeds and constellations out of marshmallows.

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.

For information, visit willyswilderness.org.

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