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President's Letter: Birding, Volunteer Opportunities Abound in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

With the arrival of warmer weather, residents will find numerous ways to get outdoors and enjoy spring in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. From hiking and biking to camping and kayaking, residents can truly create their own adventure in the Preserves.

Did you know about the abundant opportunities to volunteer in the Forest Preserves? Volunteering is an excellent way to enjoy the season while giving back to nature. The Forest Preserves is hosting a targeted shoreline cleanup at Maple Lake on Saturday, May 12, and there are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities always available on our Volunteer Page.

In this issue of the Forest Way, readers will learn about a recent restoration project in the Spring Creek Preserves. Galloping Hill Fen, a tiny but ecologically important site, suffered from invasive plant encroachment. A grant enabled restoration work to be completed, improving the site’s habitat for insects, birds and other wildlife.

Also in this issue of the Forest Way is information on a new informal canoe and kayak launch site installed in Maywood Grove. The location is significant because it fills an extensive gap between the Irving Park and Lyons launch sites for paddlers, a distance of 11 miles. Learn more about paddling in the Forest Preserves on our Boating Page.

The Forest Preserves has been featured in a number of exciting and educational news pieces throughout April. Be sure to check out these stories to learn about the Forest Preserves’ Next Century Conservation Plan, the book “Flora of the Chicago Region,” and more.

Finally, programs and events abound in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. This month, visitors can enjoy exceptional birding opportunities during a variety of International Migratory Bird Day events. There are also a number of paddling opportunities, as well as educational camping workshops. Visit our Events Page for a full list of events and programs.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County