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President's Letter: 2015: A Year in Review

This year has been an exciting one for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. With successes in our conservation and sustainability efforts, increasing the Forest Preserves’ footprint and connecting more people with nature, the Forest Preserves of Cook County made many significant strides on 2015.

We marked the end of the three-year celebration of our Centennial with a signature event, 100 Years / 100 Events. Nearly 10,000 people came out to enjoy the many Countywide activities hosted by staff and partners as part of this special celebration.

We proudly reintroduced family camping for the first time in 50 years with five new and revitalized campgrounds, and implemented zorbing and a bike rental system at six locations along popular trail routes. We also built or renovated 24 miles of trail across eight major corridors across the County. We completed major projects such as a new boat house at Maple Lake, a visitor information center at Dan Ryan Woods, a warming shelter and bathrooms at Swallow Cliff, outdoor interpretive improvements and nature play enhancements at Little Red School House and three new comfort stations at Barrington Road PondHarms Woods and Schiller Woods.

In this issue of the Forest Way — our last one for 2015 — you can read about some other initiatives – both ours and those of our partners — including a partnership to learn about urban North American river otters, and the impact of the Forest Preserve Foundation.

We are proud of our work in 2015, but one of our top priorities remains connecting the public with nature by improving the preserves. We hope you take advantage of the new amenities within the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and join us as we look forward to a new year of many more accomplishments.

See you in the preserves,

Toni Preckwinkle
President, Forest Preserves of Cook County