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Apr 21, 2015

Opportunities all week to have fun and give back


As the founders of Earth Day mark the 45th anniversary of the global phenomenon, the Forest Preserves of Cook County is celebrating with a week of events and workdays to engage local residents in enjoying and restoring our natural spaces.


“Healthy natural environments provide a critical foundation for success in our county,” said Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. “The forest preserves help control floods in our neighborhoods, clean our air and improve the health and quality of life of millions of people. Well-managed preserves also help attract business and investment to the region.


“Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the natural environment. It’s also a way to inspire us to work even harder to protect and restore habitat for the millions of plants and animals that call the forest preserves home.”


Preckwinkle, along with Forest Preserves General Superintendent Arnold Randall, spoke to participants of the Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-Up at Kickapoo Woods in Riverdale on Saturday. Groups attending included Green Corps Chicago, Student Conservation Association, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Calumet Conservation Corps, Wild Indigo and others. More than 175 participants went on nature hikes, a scavenger hunt and helped restore a section of Kickapoo Woods by removing invasive brush. The event culminated with a speaking program that included Preckwinkle, Randall, Forest Preserves Commissioner Deborah Sims, Bill Britt from Friends of the Parks and a reading of Earth Day-inspired poetry written by youth who came out.


Across Cook County, individuals, companies and organizations are contributing many hours of hard work to help restore the preserves. An estimated 1500 to 2000 volunteers will participate in clean-ups and restoration workdays this week alone. For volunteer opportunities year-round, visit


Those who have missed out on the Earth Day fun so far can still celebrate this Saturday, April 25, 10 am to 3 pm, at Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland. The center will observe Earth Day with guided nature hikes, puppet shows, crafts, seed-starting instruction, tables and displays—all themed around the history of Earth Day on its 45th anniversary. They’ll even play Earth Day Jeopardy. Click here for event details:

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