Blog

Forest Preserves of Cook County Receives Five National Awards

In addition to being a place where plants and animals thrive, the Forest Preserves of Cook County works hard to inform the public of the many opportunities to learn about and explore our nearly 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful. Using innovative strategies and programs, the Forest Preserves has been able to connect a diverse audience to the exceptional nature found in Cook County. Read below to learn more about some of the award-winning strategies, programs and leadership that help us with our mission.

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Did You Know? Cook County is Home to 17 Species of Clams

The water bodies throughout Cook County benefit from unusual ecological diversity. From various species of aquatic plants to numerous species of fish and other wildlife, Cook County residents and visitors can spend leisurely days exploring the interesting world of our lakes, rivers and streams.   But did you know that included in this great biodiversity are more than 17 species of clams? Though they may be more commonly associated with coastal communities, Cook County is in fact home to these inconspicuous bottom dwellers.

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Explore for an Hour, a Day, or Even a Night: North Zone

From boating and biking to birdwatching and fishing, there are numerous ways to experience the great outdoors in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. With nearly 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful, Cook County residents and visitors can find ways to explore the Forest Preserves for an hour, a day, or even a night.

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Visit the Forest Preserves for Trail Challenge, Summer Wildflowers

August is a beautiful time to visit the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Summer wildflowers are in bloom, the sun continues to shine brightly, and visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities outdoors.

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Forest Preserves Experience Provides Job-Readiness Training for Cook County Youth

This summer, 50 Cook County youth benefited from a five-week paid summer internship, offered thanks to a partnership between the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Friends of the Forest Preserves and the Housing Authority of Cook County. The program, called the Forest Preserves Experience, taught participants about environmental and conservation-related careers while providing hands-on job training.

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Postcards from the North Branch Trail

From August 11 to October 15, the Forest Preserves of Cook County challenges you to send Postcards from the North Branch Trail.

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Did You Know? There are 7 Native Woodpeckers in Cook County

If you’ve ever walked along a trail in a forest preserve, you’ve probably heard the fast drumming coming from up above. That noise is coming from woodpeckers, who are in search of food, communicating with others of their kind via “drumming,” or trying to build the perfect nesting site. In the US, there are 22 different native woodpecker species, and seven native woodpecker species can be found in Cook County.

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Bobolink Meadow Designated Illinois Land & Water Reserve

Nestled next to Bartel Grassland Land & Water Reserve and in close proximity to the Important Bird Area-designated Orland Grassland, Bobolink Meadow joins a cluster of incredible natural areas that offer remarkable open space for plants and animals to thrive. Thanks to an extensive restoration project conducted in partnership with Openlands, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Chicago District of the Army Corps of Engineers, the 918-acre Bobolink Meadow recently earned designation as an Illinois Land & Water Reserve.

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Feel Free in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Don’t you sometimes just want to escape? Have you ever wondered where you could go close to home and feel free to relax, feel free to explore and learn, and feel free to enjoy healthy recreation activities?

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Golf for Good at Annual Conservation Cup

The beauty of the Forest Preserves of Cook County is that everyone can enjoy the treasures it contains. These treasures require many people and resources to maintain, as the preserves stretch across nearly 70,000 acres of publicly accessible land.

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Explore for an Hour, a Day, or Even a Night: Southwest Zone

From boating and biking to birdwatching and fishing, there are numerous ways to experience the great outdoors in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. With nearly 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful, Cook County residents and visitors can find ways to explore the Forest Preserves for an hour, a day, or even a night.

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Feel Free

Don’t you sometime just want to escape?   Explore the natural beauty of Cook County for an hour, a day or even a night. When you’re surrounded by 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful, there’s no better place to feel free.

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Remembering Commissioner Robert Steele

The contributions made by Commissioner Robert Steele to the Forest Preserves of Cook County will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for many years to come.

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Artist in Residence: Wednesday, June 14 – Workshop Day!

The neighbors in Cabin 7 knocked on my door just as I was having coffee, wondering if I would like to share their breakfast of eggs, orange juice, sausage, toast and chorizo. Wow, teachers know how to cook! I had plenty of food to share myself, so insisted on contributing my supply of eggs. We had a lovely meal and chat, then I had to excuse myself to get ready for the workshop and a visit from a DePaul University Environmental Studies graduate, who also had an interest in scientific illustration and visual communications.

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Artist in Residence: Tuesday, June 13

Today I had a mid-morning interview for a women's arts publication on the east coast by fellow artist Elaine Luther. It is hot and sunny, and the air is still. Rather than brave the heat outside, today I finished up the rest of the watercolor journals, sewing a few more blocks and gluing the covers onto the completed text blocks.  

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Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County