Alcohol Free Locations and Alcohol Policy

In April 2019, the Forest Preserves of Cook County designated 22 locations as alcohol free without a picnic or event permit.

Alcohol is allowed in the majority of Forest Preserves properties. Alcohol, including wine and beer, is prohibited on or within 50 feet of roads or parking lots, on the grounds of our nature centers, and at these 22 locations, which are posted with signs indicating no alcohol without a picnic or event permit. Please note that glass containers of any type are not allowed in any Forest Preserves.

The alcohol-free sites have been chosen due to consistent public intoxication or other disruptive behavior that has had a notable impact on the preserve as a family-friendly environment, as reported by local communities and our own staff and police. The General Superintendent is authorized to ban alcohol possession, sale and consumption under FPCC Code of Ordinances 3-3-2, Section C-3.

Members of the public who have obtained a permit for use of a grove—either a picnic permit or an event permit—are allowed to consume alcohol at these sites during the hours covered by the permit.

Individuals consuming alcohol at alcohol-free sites outside of a permitted event may be subject to a citation and a fine of $75 to $500 for each offense.

The set of 22 alcohol-free locations includes 8 sites that have previously had no limitation on alcohol use and 14 sites where alcohol use was banned under any circumstances. The new policy is unified and consistent for any alcohol-free site in the Forest Preserves, allowing use only with a picnic or event permit.

The Forest Preserves is committed to providing a positive, nature-based experience that is welcoming and enjoyable for all. This policy supports that goal.

Alcohol Free Locations