In 1969, attorney Michael Shakman filed a lawsuit against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and seventeen other city and county agencies, alleging that political factors played an improper role in employment decisions. Last month, the Forest Preserve District, celebrated its release from this lawsuit. With this decision, a judge confirmed that political considerations no longer play a role in hiring or employment decisions made by the District with respect to non-exempt employees, making the District only the second city or county agency to be released from this lawsuit.
By Forest Preserve District President Toni Preckwinkle
A trail is much more than a way to get from Point A to Point B. For millions of people each year, our trails are an open invitation into the forest preserves--a way to experience natural lands on foot, by bike, horse, in-line skates or skis. Our trails give Cook County residents a place to walk, run or bike uninterrupted for miles. For many residents, our trails are even a way to commute to work and school, removing cars from the road and improving our air quality.
Turtles can breathe through their skin…underwater…in midwinter!
To survive the deep midwinter, our turtles have buried themselves either in the soil or in the mud at the edge or bottom of a pond. Thus submerged, they dramatically slow down their metabolic rate, greatly reducing the amount of energy and oxygen they need. Their heartbeat and breathing drops to almost nothing. The turtles are then able to absorb just enough oxygen through their thin skin to stay alive.
When the snow falls, Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in the Palos Preserves of southwest Cook County transforms into a bustling ski lodge. Ski the peaceful groomed trails through prairie and woodland. Ski rentals are available until 2 p.m. daily, and lessons are available on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Learn more here.
Cook County Citizen Scientists
CSX has awarded $40,000 in support of Cook County Citizen Scientists, a pilot program offered by the Forest Preserve District that showcases a citizen science project in our region.
The exciting new program focuses on educating youth from diverse backgrounds on the importance of environmental stewardship and introduces them to potential careers in science through participation in plant monitoring programs. District staff train community members and teachers and co-facilitate the data collection and interpretation process.
This year’s showcased project is The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN), a data aggregation effort targeting early detection and rapid response to invasive species in the Midwest. The program will add new projects in future years, offering a range of citizen science opportunities.
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