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Kick Off Summer in the Forest Preserves!

May 31, 2012

June is Leave No Child Inside Month
and the Forest Preserve District is the place
for kids and families to find outdoor opportunities 


The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is focusing on kids in June! At a time when children are spending more and more time indoors in front of a television or computer screen, researchers are increasingly finding that time spent in nature is critical to childhood development and lifelong health. As a member of the Chicago Wilderness alliance and a leader in its Leave No Child Inside initiative, the District is hosting unique opportunities for kids and families to get out into nature.


“The Forest Preserve District is proud to host events that contribute to the health and growth of our children,” said Forest Preserve District of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. “The District is one of the best resources for children to find exercise, fun and to satisfy their natural curiosity about how the world works.”


“Leave No Child Inside Month events bring families together around fun, enriching experiences in nature we hope will inspire year-round outdoor exploration and a life-long appreciation for the natural world,” said Melinda Pruett-Jones, Executive Director, Chicago Wilderness.


Now is the time to get off the couch and outdoors! Here are just a few of the main events. For a full listing of District events, visit


Wednesday, June 6
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Live Healthy, Discover Nature
Daley Plaza

50 W. Washington, Chicago, IL
Learn about summer family opportunities in the forest preserves! District staff representing forest preserves and nature centers from Barrington to Willow Springs—as well as friends and partner organizations—will have displays, live animals, and lots of information about how you can get outdoors this summer. At noon there will be a performance of Native American Dancers and Drummers from the American Indian Center. Forest Preserve District President Toni Preckwinkle will speak briefly.

Wednesday, June 6
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nature Is Accessible
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
9800 South 104th Avenue, Willow Springs, IL

Mother Nature provides a playground for wild animals, plants and people of all abilities too. Come take part in an array of activities: do-it-yourself nature hike, pond exploration, and activity tables. Kids can also make animal tracks or build toad homes and insect huts using sticks, mud, and more. Offered for all individuals, including those with special needs.


Saturday, June 9
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Beaubien Woods Celebration & Summer Kick-Off
I-94 & Doty Ave, Chicago

Celebrate the start of summer at our official kick-off to celebrate the season at Beaubien Woods and reel you into the outdoors. Come cast a line, take a hike, learn about canoeing, and build with natural materials on the shores of Beaubien Lake. President Toni Preckwinkle and Superintendent Arnold Randall will speak. Free and family-friendly. Presented in partnership with Fishin’ Buddies, Field Museum, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Greencorps Chicago and Eden Place.


Sunday, June 10
9 a.m. to noon
Commissioner Timothy O. Schneider’s Fishing Derby
Busse Woods, Grove #25, Golf & Higgins, Elk Grove Village, IL

Celebrate a summer day of fishing at Busse Woods with family and friends. Bring your gear and fish for fantastic prizes. No fishing license needed during Illinois Free Fishing days. Register at Cabela’s or call (847) 645-0400 or email


Sunday, June 10
Noon to 4 p.m.
Explore Outdoors!
Crabtree Nature Center
3 Stover Rd, Barrington, IL

See the grand opening of the new children’s nature exploration area.  Under spreading oak trees, children can now climb a giant spider web, dance like a bee and measure trees to calculate their age. This is a place for children to explore off the trails and discover nature on their own. Family activities include catching insects, searching for pond creatures, and enjoying nature walks along scenic trails. Come visit and let the little one’s develop big imaginations, exploring the outdoors and finding their inner animal (or insect).


For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, our events, and our six nature centers, please visit our website at:


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About the Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Established in 1914, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County is the oldest and largest forest preserve system in the nation, maintaining more than 68,000 acres of open land for the education, pleasure and recreation of the public. The District strives to protect and restore the county’s diverse ecosystems, so all our unique native plants and animals can live and thrive. Each year, more than 40 million people use these lands and facilities to enjoy or study nature, bicycle, hike, fish, cross-country ski, picnic, golf, canoe, or simply relax in a large preserve that leaves urban life behind. For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, visit


About Chicago Wilderness

Chicago Wilderness is a regional alliance that connects people and nature. More than 260 public, private and corporate organizations work together to restore local nature and improve the quality of life for all who live here, by protecting the lands and waters on which we all depend. The four key initiatives of Chicago Wilderness—to restore the health of local nature, green infrastructure, combat climate change, and leave no child inside—reflect our commitment to using science and emerging knowledge, as well as a collaborative approach to conservation, to benefit all the region’s residents. For more information, visit




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