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When we’re not solving problems for our customers, we’re solving problems in our community… which is why a group of us went out last Friday to pick up some trash in the forest! You’ve seen our blogs about sustainability, and we truly practice what we preach when it comes to being environmentally friendly. Nathan, Bryan, Meredith and I headed out to the Red Oak Nature Center to do a trail sweep.

The Red Oak Nature Center is surrounded by 40 acres of colorful forest and wildlife habitat along the Fox River in Batavia, Illinois. I was surprised to find that the center had exhibits on the ecosystems in the area as well as a dozen or so live animals! Turtles, frogs, and hissing cockroaches were just a few of the critters you can meet up close and personal. It is the region’s premier facility for nature and conservation education. We came here to help, but I left with some knowledge, too! Puffball mushrooms are edible for animals and humans, and we saw some huge ones on the forest floor. When we saw they were crumbled apart, we knew some creature stopped for a snack.

I also learned that picking up litter along the trail helps the plants but also keeps the wildlife safer, too. Deer can trip and step on broken glass, the poor things. Not on ForeFront’s watch! Armed with our work gloves, trash bags and neon vests that identified us as volunteers, we set out on the trail and had a scavenger hunt for wrappers, cans and other debris. Our core values of teamwork, integrity and passion showed up in flying colors- Meredith crawled all the way under the bush for a stray plastic bag! Nathan found an unopened bottle of kombucha, and surprisingly turned down my dare to drink it. He did, however, throw the farthest rock into the river on our spontaneous Throw A Rock Into The River Contest.

All in all, it was a beautiful day for a hike, we got to do some good for the community, and it was really fun all hanging out together outside of work! I absolutely recommend a trail hike as a great company outing. You can access the trails and exhibits at the Red Oak Nature Center for free! To plan your visit or volunteer, check out their website here:  https://www.redoaknaturecenter.info/. To partner with a hybrid supplier that loves the environment and puts their money where their mouth is, call us at 708-433-9011!