FPDCC Blog

Birding, Volunteer Opportunities Abound in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

With the arrival of warmer weather, residents will find numerous ways to get outdoors and enjoy spring in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. From hiking and biking to camping and kayaking, residents can truly create their own adventure in the Preserves.

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Give Back to Nature by Volunteering in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Spring is a magical time in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. In addition to exciting ways to get outside and enjoy warmer weather, residents and visitors can also watch as the Forest Preserves come to life with the arrival of spring wildflowers, migrating birds and an array of wildlife enjoying a new season.

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April 2018 Volunteer Opportunities and Trainings

As winter melts away to spring, Forest Preserves of Cook County volunteers can watch as the woodlands, prairies, savannas and wetlands come alive with spring wildflowers, migrating birds and a variety of wildlife while helping to restore the habitat that supports hundreds of plants and animals that thrive in Cook County’s wild. Consider joining one of the volunteer workdays below, or check out the full list of opportunities at fpdcc.com/volunteer.

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Three Unique Ways to Volunteer in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

In addition to the numerous volunteer workdays available throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, there are several programs that enable residents to give back to nature in unique ways.

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All about the Forest Preserves’ Fisheries Management Division

With myriad water bodies including lakes, ponds and rivers, anglers of all ages can enjoy numerous opportunities to cast a line throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County. To help ensure optimal water quality and thriving native fish populations, the Forest Preserves Fisheries Management Division works year-round with local and state agencies on a number of projects.

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Celebrate Earth Day 2018 in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Join the Forest Preserves of Cook County as we celebrate Earth Day with volunteer opportunities, educational programs and fun events.   Celebrating Earth Day is a great way to explore the Forest Preserves while renewing our commitment to the natural environment. It’s also an opportunity to continue preserving habitat for the millions of plants, animals and other living things that thrive in the Forest Preserves.

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In Celebration of Women’s History Month: Recognizing Women in Conservation, Environmental Activism and Science

Throughout history, women have made significant contributions in the fields of conservation, environmental activism and science. In honor of Women’s History Month, read on to learn more about some of these women:

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Trailside’s 2018 Birdhouse Contest Now Open

Welcome to Trailside Museum's 2018 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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Learn About Spring Gardening with Conservation@Home Programs

Interested in starting a garden this spring, but unsure where to begin? Want to learn about sustainable garden practices and how to incorporate native landscaping? Then consider joining the Forest Preserves of Cook County for the Conservation@Home: Kick Start Your Garden! Program.

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Mach 2018 Volunteer Opportunities & Trainings

A new month means plenty of new opportunities to join restoration efforts in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. As spring approaches, volunteers may spot a variety of blooming spring wildflowers while contributing to the important ecological work that allows these plants to thrive.

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Miami Woods Stewards Celebrate 40 Years of Nurturing Nature

With nearly 70,000 acres of public lands, managing diverse ecosystems comes with many challenges. A lot of resources are needed to successfully restore habitats, from money to actual people performing work. This is why volunteer stewardship is often a vital component to restoration efforts in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. In the case of Miami Woods, a 111-acre natural area consisting of prairie and woodland, the dedication of the public is the very reason for the efforts.

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Watch for Signs of Spring in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visitors will begin seeing signs of spring. As the weather becomes warmer during daylight and remaining cold at night, maple trees will produce sap used to make maple syrup. Another sign of spring is the appearance of spring wildflowers. Visitors can watch for these beautiful flowers while walking on trails and visiting Nature Centers. Be sure to check out our events list at fpdcc.com/events for upcoming maple syrup and wildflower events and programming.

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Spend Time With Loved Ones Exploring the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, residents and visitors have numerous opportunities to get outside and enjoy the season. Each of our Nature Centers offers fun and educational programming, and there are myriad hands-on and informative events and programs to learn about camping, try snowshoeing and more.

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February 2018 Volunteer Opportunities & Trainings

Show your love for the Forest Preserves of Cook County this February by volunteering at a stewardship workday. Volunteer work is fun and meaningful, and our nearly 70,000 acres provides numerous ways to get involved. Consider joining a workday to help restore the native habitats where plants and animals can thrive in the wild.

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Plant Profile: Red-osier Dogwood

Throughout the landscape, wintertime weather is often augmented by a color palette dominated by varying shades of brown and gray. And while many hikers enjoy viewing these winter landscapes with a light dusting of snow, others miss the lush greenery and vibrant colors typically seen throughout the forest preserves during spring and summer. For this reason, spotting red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) can be a real treat throughout the season. Red-osier dogwood most notably offers a welcome contrast to its surroundings because of the rich red color of the stems in winter.

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