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President's Letter: A Fall Cornucopia

Fall is a special time in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Crisp air and changing leaves mean it’s time for fall festivals and longer hikes. Squirrels will soon be busily hiding acorns to last through the winter.

We think you’ll notice that the Forest Preserve staff has followed the squirrels’ lead — in a sense. While they aren’t stashing acorns, they’ve been busy planning and bringing exciting programs to the preserves. All this work has greatly increased the number, variety and quality of public events across the county.

Opportunities for children and adults include:

  • The natural — revel in our autumn woods and prairies on guided hikes across the county
  • The cultural — experience cultures past and present at the Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous and the American Indian Pow Wow
  • The recreational — learn to paddle and try out a 10-passenger voyageur canoe on Powderhorn Lake
  • The intellectual — explore the ancient Silurian Sea on a fossil hunt at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center

Our robust lineup includes several exciting new series, including Archery Outdoors, Fall Paddling and Stars, Stories and S’mores.

These new opportunities complement many beloved Forest Preserve traditions. For nearly half a century, the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center’s Arts and Crafts Fair and Sand Ridge Nature Center’s Settlers’ Day have heralded sweater season as surely as crunching leaves underfoot.

Our nature centers continue to deliver innovative programming all year. Where else can one delve deeply into topics as diverse as tree physiology, wild animal diets, conservation history, digital photography and butterfly migration? We challenge you to visit all six nature centers this fall.

As the Forest Preserves of Cook County continues to celebrate its 100-year anniversary, you’ll see additional programs and events. It’s part of a reinvigorated effort to connect people to their preserves. We hope you’ll join us to experience the wonders of nature.

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County