The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is offering residents a chance to win prizes just for exploring the great outdoors found in their parks.

Contestants must take a photograph of themselves completing one of eight challenges in DuPage forest preserves and uploading the image to https://dupageforest.wishpondpages.com/discovery-challenge/ in order to be entered in the drawing for prizes, one of which includes a $250 L.L. Bean gift card.

Tony Martinez Jr., director of communication and marketing for the district, said the contest is meant to encourage people to spend time exploring nature.

“What we’re trying to get our community to do is just go outside and enjoy nature,” Martinez said. “Just taking five minutes out of your day just to enjoy nature, it’s scientifically proven that improves overall health as well as emotional and social well being.”

The eight challenges include using a park trails, exploring the forest preserves and watching the sunset. Each one completed counts as an entry in the contest and more than one in the same category can be submitted as long as they’re done at different preserves.

Grand prizes are a camping package with a $250 L.L. Bean gift card, tent, sleeping bag, backpack,and weekend stay at the Blackwell Family Campground and a kayak package with kayak, paddle, life jacket and guided kayaking tour.

Other prizes include a boat rental at Blackwell Forest Preserve, a behind-the-scenes tour for four of Willowbrook Wildlife Center, a tour for four of Mayslake Peabody Estate, and a hands-on grooming lesson for two at Danada Equestrian Center.

The contest is being held in conjunction with the L.L. Bean store in Oak Brook, which sells clothing and outdoor equipment. Martinez said the store shares the same philosophies and goals as the district.

“They have their own initiatives in the ‘Get Outdoors Challenge,’” Martinez said. “We came up with this idea to really challenge our residents in DuPage County and even surrounding counties.”

The eight challenges include:

  • Visit one of more than 30 forest preserve lakes or 45 miles of rivers.
  • Check out one of six special DuPage forest preserve destinations with exhibits and buildings focusing on the county’s natural or cultural history.
  • Attend one or more DuPage Forest Preserve District programs or activities for adults, children, families and groups.
  • Hike, bike or run on forest preserve trails.
  • Visit the woods, prairies or wetlands in the district preserves, which are home to diverse native plants and wildlife.
  • Watch a sunset, listen to the birds, practice yoga or watch the clouds in a DuPage forest preserve.
  • Attend an L.L. Bean Clinic, which provides information and tips on outdoor activities and survival.

Martinez said dozens of submissions have already been entered, with drawings scheduled for July 1, Aug. 1, Sept. 2, Oct. 1 and Oct. 4.

For more information on the contest, go to www.dupageforest.org.


Twitter @jkrausepro


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