Nature Centers

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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Make Memories Close to Home in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

The Forest Preserves of Cook County have everything residents and visitors need to spend time outdoors and make memories with family and friends close to home. With camping, a rock-climbing wall and activity barn, swimming, a zip line and treetop adventure course, free programming at six Nature Centers and more, the Forest Preserves of Cook County are alive with activities for area residents of all ages.

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Spring Brochure Now Available

As days grow longer and signs of spring’s imminent arrival begin appearing, residents and visitors will find an abundance of ways to enjoy the season in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Our Spring Brochure is brimming with exciting events and programs.

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New Summer Hours at Nature Centers

Open until 8 pm on Thursdays, and open Fridays   We are excited to announce NEW hours at five of our six nature centers this summer, June 1 through August 31!  

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