Hours
The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed holidays.
Stats
Acres
50
Location
Glen Ellyn, IL
Trails
1 Miles
Features
Drinking Water
Parking
Restrooms
Habitats
Lake/Pond/
Waterway
Prairie/
Grassland
Wetland
Woodland
Activities
Bicycling Hiking Picnicking Wildlife Watching
 

Willowbrook

Willowbrook Forest Preserve has woodlands that are interspersed with prairie and wetlands, and bisected by Glen Crest Creek. The preserve serves as a resource for understanding the natural world and provides learning experiences at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center. The Center educates DuPage County residents to live in harmony with diverse, healthy wildlife populations. In addition to being an education center, Willowbrook is also a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

Education

Butterfly Garden

Willowbrook's butterfly garden showcases landscape ideas to attract butterflies and other wildlife species. Interpretive signs introduce necessary elements to provide suitable habitat including food, water and shelter. The area contains tagged plantings that are attractive to butterflies, and a sensory garden that abounds with sights, smells and textures. An educational-display cabin features a butterfly life-cycle puzzle and play area and binoculars for a close-up view of nectaring butterflies and blooming plants. 

Educational Programs

Willowbrook Wildlife Center presents scheduled educational programs throughout the year to individuals as well as to school, youth, Scout and adult-community groups. Topics include insects, mammal tracking, birds of prey and prehistoric animals. The center also offers programming that meets Illinois' state-curriculum standards to promote wildlife education in the classroom. For more information on programs and associated fees, see Education, or contact Willowbrook at (630) 942-6200.

Nature Trail

Willowbrook's nature trail provides an opportunity to learn about wildlife and the prairie, savanna, woodland and wetland habitats of the county. A half-mile outer loop and a shorter inner loop travel through 40 acres of restored habitats complete with interpretive signs and inviting benches.

Outdoor Exhibits

Wild species native to DuPage County that have permanent disabilities are provided homes along the center's outdoor-exhibit trail. Residents include bald and golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, owls, red foxes, groundhogs, raccoons and opossums. 

Sandhill Crane Exhibit

Willowbrook is home to two state-threatened sandhill cranes. An enclosed wetland bird habitat houses the cranes and serves as a unique educational experience.

Visitor Center

The Willowbrook Visitor Center features a close-up view of wild native species. Windows provide a view of the kitchen and nursery where staff and volunteers prepare specialized diets and care for baby animals. A classroom and an indoor discovery area with hands-on, interactive exhibits including games, puzzles and a puppet play station offer exploration for children. 

Wildlife Rehabilitation

One of Willowbrook's goals is to provide care and treatment to DuPage County's native and migrant wildlife. Every year, qualified and dedicated staff, with the help of trained volunteers, tend to thousands of wild animals brought to the center for care. Only native species are accepted for treatment, but Willowbrook attempts to refer individuals with nonnative animals to appropriate organizations. Once an animal's health is restored, it is released back into its habitat in a DuPage County forest preserve.

Volunteer Opportunities

Willowbrook Wildlife Center is a tremendous place to share a passion for animals and to promote an understanding of the native species that live in DuPage County. Willowbrook volunteers participate in a wide variety of activities, including preparing specialized diets for animals, lending a hand as raptor educators, assisting with orphaned animals, visiting schools, and interacting with visitors. Volunteers play a critical part in the center's operations and, in turn, create a memorable experience for visitors. For more information on volunteer opportunities at Willowbrook Wildlife Center, contact the Forest Preserve District's Volunteer Services office at (630) 933-7681 or by e-mail at volunteer@dupageforest.com.

Accessibility

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is committed to making its facilities accessible to all visitors. For special accessibility needs or concerns, please contact the District's ADA coordinator at (630) 933-7683 or
TTY (800) 526-0857 at least three business days in advance of your visit.

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