The Moe the merrier

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By Nona Tepper

The late Virginia Moe, longtime naturalist of the Trailside Museum in River Forest, recently got a shout out in Dig the Dunes for her work to establish a national park in northwest Indiana. Dig the Dunes is a blog about the Indiana Dunes in Northwest Indiana. 

Moe, then a Gary, Indiana, resident who lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright home, was part of the committee who obtained the land for the original state park, according to Dig the Dunes. 

The blog interviewed author Jane Morocco about Moe's legacy in Indiana and River Forest. Morocco wrote "Trailside Museum: The Legend of Virginia Moe," which retails for about $20 on 

In the interview, Morocco talks about Moe's belief in letting children run Trailside. As a child, Morocco volunteered for 10 years alongside Moe at Trailside, eventually becoming a licensed wildlife rehabilitator by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

"Many of the children would be considered "at risk" kids," Morocco said in an interview with Dig the Dunes. "I believe by giving children a chance to care for animals and plants, many of those children grew up to be caring adults to their own families and communities."

All proceeds from the book help fund the Virginia Moe Scholarship, which is awarded to high school students interested in studying botany, biology, zoology and environmental sciences in college.

Nona Tepper

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