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President's Letter: Achieve Your Goals in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

President Preckwinkle speaks at an event.

With the start of a new year, many of us may be considering goals and resolutions to help us start the year on a positive note, from increasing physical wellbeing to being more motivated to try new things. Many common New Year’s resolutions can be met while visiting the Forest Preserves of Cook County—and adding another, too: spending more time in nature.

Exercise More

With more than 350 miles of trails for walking, running and bike riding, it’s easy to get some exercise in the Forest Preserves. With varying lengths and difficulties, a workout can be customized to meet individual needs. The Forest Preserves also has two locations with fitness stairs for a unique addition to a workout.

Spend More Time with Friends and Family

The Forest Preserves hosts more than 1000 events at our six nature centers and at forest preserves sites throughout the County. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly program or a special night out, there are ample opportunities to make fun memories with loved ones. And don’t forget, there are five campgrounds in the Forest Preserves, where you can gather your friends and family around a campfire, roast marshmallows and enjoy each other’s company.

Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Whether you’re interested in photography, archery, gardening, painting or paddling, Forest Preserves programs can help you learn new skills or discover a new hobby. Our trained staff guides participants through various activities, answers questions and helps cultivate new interests.


Volunteering with the Forest Preserves is fun and meaningful. No matter your age or skill, there are opportunities for everyone from litter clean up to ecological stewardship and even citizen science work, too. Added benefits include joining a community of dedicated individuals, getting exercise outside and helping improve your local preserve. Visit our Volunteer Page to learn more about different opportunities.

We hope to see you in your preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle, President