Blog

Healthy Preserves Important to Plants, Animals and People

The Forest Preserves of Cook County benefits our communities, our region and our planet.   Our 70,000 acres protect native flora and fauna while also ensuring people can experience the beauty of northeastern Illinois’ native habitats. Committing to restoring these lands to health achieves both these goals. It also benefits both current residents and future generations to come.

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May 2019 Volunteer Opportunities

Enjoy warmer spring weather by heading out to the Forest Preserves of Cook County to participate in a volunteer restoration workday. Volunteering is fun and meaningful, and there are opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels.

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April 2019 Volunteer Opportunities

Enjoy spring in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Consider joining a workday, where volunteers remove invasive brush and often conduct brush pile burns. There are opportunities throughout the county for people of all ages and experience levels.   Check out the list below for a nearby workday, or visit fpdcc.com/volunteer to view the calendar of all upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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Wampum Lake Named Forest Preserves’ Newest Illinois Nature Preserve

Wampum Lake Woods has long been a favorite site for visitors of all ages looking for a beautiful setting in south suburban Cook County to come together with friends and family. With nearly 1 mile of shoreline, the lake itself offers excellent year-round fishing opportunities, and the 412-acre site has shady picnic groves and large open spaces to play catch. Thanks to continued restoration efforts, Wampum Lake is now also a place to see high-quality natural habitats.

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Help Protect Nature for the Next Generation

Spring is an inspiring time to visit the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Throughout the season, visitors can witness the renewal of nature. As the weather continues to warm, soon we’ll see migrating birds, the reemergence of wildlife, and spring wildflowers accompanied by buzzing bees and flittering butterflies.

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Tuma Lake Now Open

After rebuilding and years of stocking, Tuma Lake is now open to the public!

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Celebrate Earth Day 2019 in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Join the Forest Preserves of Cook County as we celebrate Earth Day with volunteer opportunities, educational programs and fun events.   Celebrating Earth Day is a great way to explore the Forest Preserves while renewing our commitment to the natural environment. It’s also an opportunity to continue preserving habitat for the millions of plants, animals and other living things that thrive in the Forest Preserves.

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Honoring Black History Month

Throughout February, the Forest Preserves honored Black History Month with a series of social media posts highlighting influential African Americans in environmentalism, conservation or recreation, as well as partner organizations and programs connecting African American and other communities of color to nature.   Check out the posts below to learn more...

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Women in Nature: Honoring Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, we had three conversations with women who are advocates for nature and connected to the Forest Preserves to learn more about their inspiration, path and what advice they’d give to others.  

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Conservation@Home Program Expands to School Gardens

Just two years since launching the Cook County Conservation@Home program, the Forest Preserves of Cook County and University of Illinois Extension have over 80 members who have certified home gardens or are working on certification. Conservation@Home gardens provide critical habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife. Now, the program is expanding to encourage schools to adopt environmentally friendly practices, as well.

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Conservation Corps Programs Recognized with National, Regional Awards

Conservation Corps was recognized recently with three national and regional awards celebrating this innovative and important program.   Through strong partnerships with Friends of the Forest Preserves, Housing Authority of Cook County, Student Conservation Association, Greencorps Chicago, Audubon Great Lakes and Forest Preserve Foundation, Conservation Corps mobilizes youth and adults to help restore public lands. Conservation Corps is an essential program for the Forest Preserves, and aims to reconnect people and nature, diversify the Forest Preserves’ workforce and engage people of all backgrounds in conservation careers.

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March 2019 Volunteer Opportunities

Get ready for spring’s arrival in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Consider joining a workday, where volunteers remove invasive brush and often conduct brush pile burns. There are opportunities throughout the county for people of all ages and experience levels.

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Conservation Corps Provides Many Benefits

Photo: Forest Preserves leadership and partners congratulate Forest Preserve Experience graduates at the 2018 ceremony at Wampum Lake Forest Preserve.   For Cook County’s 5.2 million residents, there are myriad benefits to having nearly 70,000 acres of open Forest Preserves land. Natural lands help clean our air and water, protect a diversity of plants and animals, and provide endless opportunities for healthy recreation, as well as exciting educational outings. But our forest preserves also provide specialized opportunities for employment and job training across the county.  

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Trailside’s 2019 Birdhouse Contest Now Open

Welcome to Trailside Museum's 2019 Birdhouse Building contest!   The purpose of this contest is to highlight the need for nesting sites for birds and showcase your creative building skills. Birdhouses will be built by registered participants, displayed throughout the summer and voted on by visitors. Prizes will be awarded.  

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Join Efforts to Protect Oak Trees

The Forest Preserves is part of a new regional initiative to protect critical oak ecosystems, an effort that will produce ecological benefits far beyond the oaks themselves. Through the Chicago Wilderness Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan, coordinated by the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, the Forest Preserves and other conservation partners identified key oak ecosystems, are in the process of restoring oak ecosystems on Forest Preserve land, and reaching out to homeowners and others who can protect their oaks, as well.

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