FPDCC Blog

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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It’s Prime Time to View Prairie Flowers in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

As the summer season winds down, late-blooming prairie wildflowers are providing a striking natural display throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

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Join Us for a Party for the Preserves

The Forest Preserves of Cook County are an incredible public resource. Throughout the County, residents and visitors can take advantage of nearly 70,000 acres of natural land. Our preserves offer opportunities to enjoy myriad recreational activities including hiking, biking, picnicking and more. Residents and visitors can also view natural exhibits and resident wildlife at six Nature Centers, experience more than 20 designated nature preserves, or spend a night under the stars at five campgrounds.

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2018 Forest Preserves Photo Contest

Submit Your Photos September 1-15, 2018   It’s that time of year again! We’re looking for your very best photos of Forest Preserves landscapes, close-ups of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife, pictures that highlight the seasons and shots of people enjoying the outdoors or participating in our recreational offerings.   This year’s winning photos will be showcased in the 2019 Forest Preserves of Cook County Wall Calendar, on FPDCC.com and on Forest Preserves social media accounts. Each winning photographer will receive 10 copies of the calendar as well as a Forest Preserves prize package.

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Everyone is Welcome in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

The Forest Preserves of Cook County’s values are clear: all people are welcome, and everyone should feel safe at any of our facilities. The incident that occurred on June 14 in Caldwell Woods was disturbing and appalling. The Forest Preserves is deeply committed to inclusiveness and we make every effort to infuse our work with that commitment. We know there’s always room for improvement and we want to use the incident as an opportunity to grow stronger.

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