« All News

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves

an Earth Day banner at Sand Ridge Nature Center

Cook County is home to nearly 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful forest preserves, which help clean our air and water and absorb carbon emissions and stormwater. The Forest Preserves of Cook County is hosting events across Cook County before, during and after Earth Day to let people of all ages give back to nature or just enjoy time outdoors.

“The Forest Preserves are among the most important assets of Cook County. Ensuring that they thrive as a source of beauty, inspiration, economic vitality and health is critical to the success of our region,” said Cook County Board and Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle. “Every day is Earth Day in the preserves. The Forest Preserves protect important local ecosystems, keep our air and water cleaner, and provide residents with the opportunity to reconnect with nature.”

President Preckwinkle will help kick of the celebratory events in the Forest Preserves with an Earth Day Celebration at Erickson Woods beginning at 10 am on Wednesday, April 20. During the event, held in conjunction with the nonprofit BackYard Nature Center, attendees can participate in ecological restoration, learn about macroinvertebrates, enjoy a nature hike and more.

In the following days additional special events and programs will be offered at nature centers and preserves across Cook County. In addition, individuals and families can give back to nature by checking out litter clean-up supplies at select Forest Preserves sites on Friday and Saturday, April 22-23.

“Celebrating Earth Day is an easy and meaningful way for folks to learn more about and enjoy the local habitats in the Forest Preserves, which are the home to millions of plants, animals and other living things. And participating in a cleanup is a great way to explore the Forest Preserves while renewing a commitment to the natural environment,” said Forest Preserves General Superintendent Arnold Randall.

Earth Day Events

After Earth Day

Anyone can commit to regularly volunteering in the Forest Preserves through the Select Organized Litter Obliterators (SOLO) program. SOLO volunteers can help by collecting litter on their own, or with a small group of family or friends, at one of our Litter Hotspots or any Forest Preserves location they choose. Explore even more opportunities to join our volunteer community on our Volunteer Page.