Diversity & Inclusion Statement

Members of the Forest Preserves Racial Equity/Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Committee.
Members of the Forest Preserves Racial Equity/Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Committee.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County is one of the largest public conservation districts in the country. We strive to protect a diverse array of ecosystems that shelter thousands of different plants and animals which provide the residents of Cook County and its visitors with clean air, healthy waterways, and many different opportunities to explore and take respite in nature.  

The nearly 70,000 acres of public land that we protect harbor some of the last best examples of our natural heritage, as well as culturally significant historic sites. We recognize that if these public lands are to thrive, they must be treasured by a diversity of residents who advocate and care for the health of the Preserves. 

We welcome and value each resident and visitor who comes with unique experiences and characteristics. We believe that we are stronger when we respect, accept and learn from our similarities and differences.  

What We Believe and What We Are Committing to Doing

We value diversity in all aspects of our work, and are committed to enhancing our cultural competency in order to best serve and engage Cook County residents in caring for the health and enjoyment of our natural and cultural heritage. 

Our Staff

We value our employees and the different talents, expertise and viewpoints that each brings to the table. We commit to providing a constructive, safe and positive work atmosphere and infrastructure that promotes mutual respect and empowers individuals to thrive in their jobs. 

Our Partners and Volunteers

We value collaborative relationships and the expertise and insight that diverse pool of partners, organizations and volunteers can provide to guide, inform, and accomplish our work. We commit to strengthening and deepening connections with existing partners and to establishing new partnerships to comprehensively advance the mission of the Forest Preserves. 

Our Vendors

We value the innovation, resilience and flexibility that accompany working with diverse businesses in Cook County. We commit to supporting and strengthening Cook County’s economy and will choose to work with a diversity of vendors, including minority-owned and women-owned businesses. 

Our Visitors

We value the people of Cook County on whose behalf we hold and care for the Forest Preserves and strive to ensure that all people feel welcome and have the opportunity to enjoy nature in the Forest Preserves. We commit to offering a variety of experiences which reflect our commitment to inclusivity and are relevant to many different individuals and communities.

To explore the wide array of programming that we offer, please visit our Events Page.