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President's Letter: Celebrate Fall in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Fall is officially upon us, and what an excellent time to get outdoors and visit the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Throughout the Forest Preserves, visitors can enjoy the beautiful array of warm colors that will decorate the trees; celebrate the season with fall-themed festivals, events and programs; and enjoy a variety of fun activities with family and friends.

In this month’s Forest Way, readers will learn about one of the Forest Preserves’ newest locations – Oak Forest Heritage Preserve. This 176-acre site offers visitors the opportunity to traverse a nearly two-mile paved trail while learning the varied stories of how the site has been used throughout history.

Also in this month’s newsletter is a story on the turtle habitat restoration and subsequent study being conducted by the Forest Preserves and Friends of the Chicago River. Our organizations have been working together on a multi-tiered project designed to positively impact the reproductive success of osprey, bats and turtles.

Finally, don’t forget to vote for your favorite photos in the 5th Annual Forest Preserves Photo Contest. The winning photos will be featured in the 2017 wall calendar and on the Forest Preserves website, used on social media accounts, and displayed in an exhibit at the Cook County Building in downtown Chicago, as well as in various courthouses. Voting will begin on Monday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. on the Forest Preserves’ Facebook pageClick here to view the photo contest gallery

I’d also like to make special note that this year marks the 20th anniversary of Chicago Wilderness, a regional alliance of 200 organizations that work together across ecological and geographic boundaries. They will be hosting their annual Chicago Wilderness Congress at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum on Wednesday, Nov. 2. For those interested in joining more than 700 of the region’s top conservation and community partners for in-depth discussions on collaborative conservation, species monitoring, program evaluation and more, click here to learn more.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County