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President's Letter: Counting Down to 100 Years, 100 Events

Summer is in full swing, and the Forest Preserves of Cook County offer numerous activities as a way to get warmed up for our signature centennial, “100 Years, 100 Events.”

I recently attended the Beaubien Woods Celebration and had the pleasure of announcing the countdown to “100 Years, 100 Events.” Now, that July is here, we are 80 days away from our County-wide celebration September 20th-27th.

Forest Preserves staff and dozens of volunteers are planning 100 activities and challenges such as archery, Ultimate Frisbee, historical tours, canoeing, kayaking, bird hikes and a lunar eclipse viewing, just to name a few. If organized events are not your thing, small groups and individuals can also participate in self-directed activities like hiking or biking. There will be prizes and challenges during the celebration, including a chance to set the record for the County’s largest Tree Hug.

Of all the 102 counties in Illinois, Cook boasts a variety of natural habitats. Within our vast 69,000 acres are wetlands, prairies, forests and savanna.  Our goal is to get more people out into the preserves in the hope of creating lifelong connections with nature while enjoying our trails, campgrounds, Nature Centers, Aquatic Centers, Golf Courses and other free events.

If you frequent the preserves already, this is a chance to try a new activity or explore a previously unfamiliar part of the County. I encourage you to invite friends and family members and help us spread the word about our amazing wildlife, natural areas and educational and recreational opportunities.

“100 Years, 100 Events” is an opportunity to unplug from electronic devices and make a real connection with nature—and one another!

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County