Community, Local, Organizations, Park Forest, Recreation

Forest Preserve’s 2024 Take It Outside Challenge Debuts Jan. 21 With a Twist

Will County, IL-(ENEWSP)- If you loved the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Take It Outside Challenge in 2023 or wish you had joined, a new version of the popular program will launch on Sunday, Jan. 21.

The 2023 yearlong challenge drew over 1,200 participants who completed around 115,000 nature-themed missions ranging from GPS check-ins at various locations, photos of nature scenes and wildlife, selfies, and trivia questions. This year’s challenge comes with a twist. Instead of a yearlong competition, the 2024 program will be in seasonal challenges with breaks between each one.

Nine-week Take It Outside Seasonal Challenges

The nine-week Take It Outside seasonal challenges are: 

  • Winter Workout: Sunday, Jan. 21, through Saturday, March 30 (join code 6X9K34)
  • Spring Fling: Sunday, April 14, through Saturday, June 15 (join code V813P4)
  • Summer Soiree: Sunday, June 30, through Saturday, Sept. 21 (join code BD13J5)
  • Fall Frolic: Sunday, Oct. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 14 (enter code ED7MGP)

We will release ten missions each Sunday during the challenges, and participants will complete challenges to earn points and prizes. To participate, download the free Goosechase smartphone app. Search for each seasonal challenge by name, enter the join codes listed above, and sign up for one or more challenges. Then, read the online rules on the Forest Preserve District’s website, Point totals will be on a leaderboard in the Goosechase app so you can see how you and others are doing in the competition. 

Room for More People This Year

In 2023, stories poured in all year from participants about how the missions were getting people to walk more than they had in years, lose weight, discover Will County’s preserves, feel better mentally and physically, and make new friends. The new seasonal format should allow more people to participate in 2024, said Chad Merda, the Forest Preserve’s digital communications manager.

“Even if people only do one seasonal challenge, we’re hoping that’s the start of a renewed love for nature and a new routine of using the forest preserves with more regularity,” he said.

The Forest Preserve will also offer Take It Outside Challenge hikes at different locations. Each hike will include missions that groups can accomplish. But those who don’t attend hikes can also complete missions later. Registration will open two months before each hike on the online Event Calendar. Sign up soon. We have limited space.

Prizes Available!

Seasonal challenge winners will receive $500, $250, and $150 Mastercard gift cards for first, second, and third places. You can only win a seasonal cash prize once. After the seasonal challenges, first-, second-, and third-place finishers will be in a drawing for one of three $250 gift cards. 

Those who complete specific bird-feeding missions each season will be entered in a drawing to win one of two prize packs valued at $135 and $228 from Wild Birds Unlimited in Joliet.  Additional prize packs and gift cards will be awarded at random to participants. For more information on prizes and the challenge, visit

The 2024 Take It Outside Challenge is sponsored by the Nature Foundation of Will County.