Blog

Enjoy the Holiday Season by Birding

Throughout the nation, including many parts of Cook County and the Forest Preserves, birders young and old, experienced and beginners, will gather to participate in a long-standing tradition – the Christmas Bird Count.

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2015: A Year in Review

This year has been an exciting one for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. With successes in our conservation and sustainability efforts, increasing the Forest Preserves’ footprint and connecting more people with nature, the Forest Preserves of Cook County made many significant strides on 2015.

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Chinese Delegation Visits Forest Preserves

More than 20 delegates from various municipal departments from the city of Shenzhen, a large metropolis of 18 million in southern China, visited the Forest Preserves of Cook County on Monday, Nov. 9, to learn about the history, conservation efforts and public outreach of the Forest Preserves.

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Celebrate the Winter Solstice

Tuesday, December 22, marks the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere. Leading up to December 22 this year, Northern Hemispherians experience the gradual shortening of days as the sun appears closer to the horizon each day. On the day of the solstice, that shortening pauses. From that day forward, the sun appears to work its way northward in the sky again. This means longer days, which is certainly a reason to celebrate.

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The Return of Urban Otters

A century after extirpation from the State of Illinois and decades after reintroduction, an urban North American river otter has found its way into the southern region of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, calling an isolated pond within the preserves home.  

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Forest Preserve Foundation Serves Communities While Serving the Preserves

As a relatively new organization, the Forest Preserve Foundation began with a big goal: to increase opportunities for everyone in Cook County to enjoy the many benefits of spending time in the preserves. By working with a variety of partners and aligning their mission with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the foundation worked toward achieving their goal in a major way this year.

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Forest Preserve Foundation Participates in #GivingTuesday

The Forest Preserve Foundation is participating in Giving Tuesday. The foundation strives to connect people with nature, protect and restore the treasured natural habitats of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and enhance the outdoor experiences of all communities.   This year, Forest Preserve Foundation donors have helped more than 3,000 people feel closer to nature through programs such as Student Conservation Association's Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Program and the Forest Preserves’ Camping Leadership Immersion Course. Throughout 2015, nearly $250,000 has been awarded to several different organizations.   Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to help increase the number of people who benefit from the Forest Preserve Foundation and the programs the organization supports. To learn more about the foundation or how to donate for Giving Tuesday, visit their website at forestpreservefoundation.org.

Shedd Aquarium Expands Partnership with FPCC

More than 3,500 plant and animal species, and 36 million people, call the many habitats of the Great Lakes region home. The habitats include lakes, rivers, wetlands, dunes, prairies and forests, some of which need help with restoration and conservation. Shedd Aquarium, a global leader in aquatic animal health and medicine, recognized that need and launched a program called Great Lakes Action Days (GLAD).

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Volunteerism Vital Component to FPCC Mission

By President Toni Preckwinkle   This month’s Forest Way newsletter tells the stories of two volunteer groups making significant contributions to the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Major organizations and companies invite their staff to provide service to the preserves, and individuals throughout our local communities devote their free time, skills and enthusiasm to preserving and restoring nature.

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Experience Camping During Winter

With the opening of several campgrounds throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County this summer, many visitors and residents have been able to enjoy the great outdoors in a new way. Although fall will slowly fade into winter, residents and visitors can still enjoy camping at Camps Reinberg, Sullivan and Bullfrog. Camp Dan Beard in Northbrook will also be open to large groups only.

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A Lesson in Trout Fishing

With the start of the inland trout fishing season on Saturday, October 17, the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) stocked nearly 7,000 pounds of rainbow trout in several of the preserves’ lakes (check here for details and locations). Mike Feldman, Fisheries technician, and Steve Silic, Fisheries biologist, shared some information about trout fishing and how to prepare and enjoy your catch!

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Volunteers Contribute to Deer Grove Restoration Efforts

As the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s first land acquisition back in 1916, Deer Grove is significant for numerous reasons. To some, it marks a momentous step in the FPCC’s efforts to succeed in their mission of acquiring, restoring and managing lands for the purpose of protecting and preserving public open space. To Deer Grove West volunteers, the acquisition has enabled them to contribute countless hours and many years of dedicated service, adding value to the preserve.   This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Deer Grove West volunteer group, an organization whose goal is to restore the natural communities of Deer Grove West to pre-European settlement conditions, and to enable them to support the native plant and animal communities historically found at Deer Grove. The group has seen many accomplishments during their time, including restoring approximately 70 acres of land, growing as an organization, and having volunteers become more knowledgeable in the work they’re doing.

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Get Up Close and Personal with Trailside Museum

Have you ever pet a turtle? Ever wonder how a hawk’s food is prepared? These are just a couple things visitors will be able to learn and experience during Trailside Museum of Natural History’s An Evening at Trailside event on Friday, November 6.

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Camping Challenge: WGN Morning News Visits Camp Bullfrog Lake

Last week we invited the early crew at WGN Morning News out to Camp Bullfrog Lake for a five-round camping challenge. Erin McElroy and Demetrius Ivory took on Marcus Leshock and Lourdes Duarte in archery, tent pitching, campfire building, canoe racing and tetherball. And it didn’t always go so well…

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Save the Prairie Society Celebrates 40 Years at Wolf Road Prairie

On September 19, Save the Prairie Society (STPS) marked 40 years of stewardship at Wolf Road Prairie with a celebration attended by over 200 supporters and volunteers.  Attendees looked back on the many stories and accomplishments that come with building a community of committed volunteers for close to half a century.

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