Blog

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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February 2019 Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for a way to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air? 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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Honors for Field Museum, FPCC Partnership

The Forest Preserves Board of Commissioners honored a decades-long partnership between the Field Museum and the Forest Preserves during last month’s board meeting, recognizing an award to the partners last fall from the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD).

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Experience the Health Benefits of the Forest Preserves Throughout Winter

By February, Cook County residents have already experienced months of cold weather. The falling snow and dropping temperatures may have you feeling “cabin fever.” The cure? Plan a trip out into the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

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