Naperville’s Whalon Lake hosts eclipse solar-bration

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Communities around the country gathered to view the eclipse Monday afternoon, and Naperville was no exception. Hundreds congregated at Naperville’s Whalon Lake to get a glimpse of the solar phenomenon.

NCTV17 spoke with Michelle Cipiti, interpretive naturalist at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, about the eclipse, the activities on hand at Whalon Lake, and the best ways to stay safe while witnessing the event.

Partial eclipse but total fun at Whalon Lake

Naperville locals were able to see a only partial eclipse on Monday, as the total eclipse was only viewable in southern Illinois.

“For us here at Whalon Lake and in northern Illinois, we’re only going to be experiencing 94%,” said Cipiti. “So that means as the moon is crossing over, it’s only going to be covering up 94% of the sun.”

The Forest Preserve District of Will County set up several activities for the solar-braters.

“We have an opportunity to take keepsake photos,” said Cipiti. “We have some little props and things that say eclipse 2024. We have a little matching game, so you can test you astronomy skills and your knowledge. We have a couple of crafts if you want to make a keepsake for your scrapbook that says (you) were there.”

Cipiti said it meant a lot to her to see all the public interest for the eclipse at Whalon Lake. 

“(People are) experiencing the preserve that we have for them to utilize… and while technically the moon and the stars aren’t nature or animals or trees, it’s part of great big Earth at large,” said Cipiti. “So it’s super exciting to me to see all these people here.”

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