Blog

Winter Wonderland of Birds

This is a great time of year for birdwatching.  Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, approximately 120 bird species have been recorded during winter, including 57 migrants and 63 resident birds.

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January 2019 Volunteer and Training Opportunities

Resolve to give back to nature this year! 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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Restoration Started by Volunteers Reaches Next Stage in Somme Prairie Nature Preserve

Tucked away among Cook County’s northeastern forest preserves is an example of what an Illinois prairie looked like millennia ago. Somme Prairie Nature Preserve, home to a small remnant of original prairie, is host to an incredible diversity of prairie plants and insects, including species on federal and state threatened and endangered lists. After decades of dedicated volunteer stewardship, the site is now undergoing an expanded 21-acre grant-funded restoration project.

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Snow Better Time to Visit the Preserves Than This Winter

When snow comes to Cook County, grab your sled or skates and head out to the Forest Preserves. Or if you’re more interested in a quiet walk in the wintry woods, the Forest Preserves offers that, too. With more than 300 miles of trails, you can always find a new path to explore.

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December 2018 Volunteer Opportunities

Warm up this winter while helping restore the forest preserves! 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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Hike the Preserves this Winter

This winter, hit the trails in the Forest Preserves of Cook County to enjoy a peaceful hike through serene landscapes. Looking for recommended hikes? Check out the list below for a featured hike in each of the Forest Preserves’ five zones.   To explore more hiking opportunities, check out the Forest Preserves’ interactive web map at map.fpdcc.com.

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A Year in Review: 2018 by the Numbers

Numbers can only tell part of a story. But for 2018, adding up some of the numbers from the Forest Preserves of Cook County gives an impressive snapshot of the many ways the Forest Preserves have engaged with residents and advanced our mission.

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Walking Green: Study Finds Walking in Forest Preserves Improves Health

We’ve all heard the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” A new study held in the Forest Preserves of Cook County shows that similar to a diet rich in fruits, walking in forested areas can provide both mental and physical health benefits.   Dr. Teresa H. Horton, an associate professor of research at Northwestern University’s Department of Anthropology, led a team of researchers who learned that walks along forested paths can have a variety of benefits, including improvement of one’s mood and sense of connectedness to nature, as well as a reduction in blood glucose levels.

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Restoration Throughout Forest Preserves Benefits Land, Animals and People

Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, plants, animals and insects are preparing for colder months ahead. And while winter may mean hibernation for some, the Forest Preserves remain bustling with opportunities to enjoy nature. There are numerous special events and programs during November, as well as plenty of ways to get outside, including hiking, volunteering, camping and biking.

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Burning Questions Answered: Interview with a Burn Boss

Fall is more than changing leaves and end-of-the-year holidays. At the Forest Preserves, it’s time for employees, volunteers, contractors and partners to head out into woodlands, prairies and savannas for the fall 2018 prescribed burn season.   Elliot Medina, senior resource technician with the Resource Management Department, is a burn boss and a veteran of burns since his first job out of college. He answered some of our most burning questions about this important management technique.

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November 2018 Volunteer & Training Opportunities

Experience nature's transition from fall to winter. Consider joining a volunteer workday in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. 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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Red, Gold, Yellow and Orange: Fall Colors Hidden Beneath the Green

While all seasons provide something new to see in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, fall may arguably be the most visually stunning time to get out and explore. There are still some late-blooming wildflowers, and of course, canopies are exploding with vibrant colors. But what exactly is causing the leaves to become red, gold, orange and yellow?

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October 2018 Volunteer & Training Opportunities

Experience the beginning of fall while giving back to nature. Consider joining a volunteer workday in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. There are opportunities throughout the county for people of all ages and experience levels.

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View Fall Colors in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

The seasonal transition from summer to fall is a wonderful time to experience the Forest Preserves of Cook County. While visitors can continue to enjoy hiking, biking or camping, perhaps they’ll spot some autumn colors beginning to appear in the forest canopy, stop to view late-blooming wildflowers, or witness various wildlife preparing for winter.

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September 2018 Volunteer & Training Opportunities

Enjoy the final days of summer while giving back to nature. Consider joining a volunteer workday in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. There are opportunities throughout the county for people of all ages and experience levels.

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