Blog

FPCC Participates in 6th Annual One Earth Film Festival

The Forest Preserves of Cook County is hosting a free screening of the Emmy Award-winning documentary, “Chicago’s True Nature: The Forest Preserves of Cook County,” as part of the 6th Annual One Earth Film Festival.

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Get Ready For Spring in the Forest Preserves

With unseasonably warm weather speeding our rush toward spring and days becoming longer, our excitement for the official change of seasons grows. As we enjoy the seasonal change, be sure to visit the Forest Preserves and see plants starting to bloom and migrating birds beginning to appear throughout the County.

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Jens Jensen Named Illinois’ Newest Land and Water Reserve

On January 24, 2017 the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission dedicated the Jens Jensen Grasslands and Woodland Land and Water Reserve. This 220-acre mosaic of woods, grasslands and wetlands is located within the 624-acre Jens Jensen Forest Preserve (also known as Deer Grove East) in northwest Cook County, and is adjacent to Deer Grove West Forest Preserve. Together, these parcels total 1,800 acres of Forest Preserves land.

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Students Can Now Apply for Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Program

Applications for Student Conservation Association and Friends of the Forest Preserves’ six-week Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps (CCLC) program will be accepted beginning Monday, March 6 through Friday, April 21.

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Forest Preserve Foundation Awards 5 Grants to Support FPCC Initiatives

During the Forest Preserve Foundation’s fall grants cycle, five grants totaling nearly $130,000 in support of Forest Preserves of Cook County initiatives were approved.

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Explore the Great Outdoors with Loved Ones

There are many great things happening throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County this February. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, consider spending time with loved ones out in nature. With both adults-themed and family-friendly programming at many of our Nature Centers, as well as myriad educational programs and volunteer opportunities, there are numerous ways to enjoy the company of family and friends in honor of this special day.

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Explore Dan Ryan Woods and the Major Taylor Trail

Dan Ryan Woods, one of the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s most popular sites, is home to numerous amenities and attractions. This 257-acre preserve has long offered visitors a scenic location to gather with family and friends while being surround by nature. The site offers year-round recreational opportunities including playfields, a 1.5-mile paved loop trail, 16 picnic groves, a 120-guest pavilion, and a system of historic aqueducts at Dan Ryan Woods South.

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Harms Flatwoods Named Illinois Nature Preserve

Located in northeastern Cook County, Harms Flatwoods offers visitors a somewhat rare glimpse of this limited habitat type. Even rarer than the ecosystem is the exceptional quality of Harms Flatwoods, which has recently garnered this plot designation as an Illinois Nature Preserve.

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Become a Cook County Master Naturalist

Do you love learning about the natural areas, plants and animals of Cook County? Are you interested in educating family, friends and the general public about the many ecological wonders of Cook County? Do you enjoy performing nature-related volunteer work? If you’ve answered “yes” to these questions, consider becoming a Cook County Master Naturalist!

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Beverly Lake: A Cross-Country Skiing Hidden Gem

Located in the northwestern part of Cook County, visitors can find themselves trekking through oak woodlands, oak savannas, and pine plantations that were once part of re-forestation efforts while exploring Beverly Lake. And with recently updated ski signage and remarked trails, cross-country skiers can traverse nearly 2.5 miles of marked trails and more while experiencing this favorite winter pastime.

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Resolve to Explore the Natural Beauty of Cook County in 2017

The New Year is finally upon us, with the promise of new experiences and opportunities ahead. If you’ve long imagined exploring different parts of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the New Year is the perfect reason to get outside and try something new.

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Book Your 2017 Camping Excursion in the Forest Preserves

If you’ve never been camping in Cook County, make 2017 the year you experience the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s five campgrounds. Beginning January 3, all dates for 2017 camping are open for reservations.

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New Program, Volunteer Opportunity: Bluegrass Jams

Nature has long inspired artists of all mediums, from watercolor painters and sculptors to photographers and musicians. The Forest Preserves of Cook County enables the public to experience the peacefulness of wind blowing through the trees, the explosion of natural colors as seasons change, and the chorus of sounds generated by local wildlife. This undeniable connection between nature and the arts is the basis for one of the Forest Preserves newest volunteer and programming opportunities: Makin’ Music Bluegrass Jam!

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2017 Permit Sales Begin Jan. 3

Online and in-person permit sales for 2017 will begin at 8 am on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Visitors can apply for permits in person at the Forest Preserves General Headquarters, located at 536 N. Harlem in River Forest. The entrance to the parking lot is one block west of Harlem, off of Bonnie Brae. Remember: You can save time by booking online at fpdcc.com/permits.

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Winter Best Time to Start Large-Scale Restoration Projects

While most people want to stay indoors wrapped up in cozy blankets and sipping hot chocolate during the cold winter months, the Forest Preserves of Cook County prefers to be outside beginning large-scale restoration projects.   According to Troy Showerman, resource project manager for the Forest Preserves, there are two main reasons winter is a great time to begin restoration projects.

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