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President's Letter: Enjoy Springtime in Nature Safely

Signs of spring are sprouting throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Wildflowers are blooming, tree buds are bursting, migratory birds are making their way back north, and temperatures are getting warmer.

Understandably, with rising temperature comes increased temptation to head outside and enjoy the season, but it is critical that we stay the course on practicing public health guidelines. As I’ve stated before, it is our collective responsibility to follow the rules that help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep us healthy and safe.

If you’re planning a peaceful walk to view spring ephemerals or heading out for a quick run on trails, please wear a mask or face covering. Remember to stay at least six feet away from anyone who does not live in your household, and let others know when you’re passing them on a trail. And though sunshine may have you dreaming of a picnic or cookout, do not congregate in groups until public health officials have determined it is safe.

This spring will be much different than any we’ve experienced before, but there are still ways to enjoy the season safely. Check out the Forest Preserves and nature center Facebook pages for natural fun activities to enjoy at home or in your neighborhoods. Forest Preserves naturalists and programming teams are also hosting numerous Facebook Live programs on topics ranging from backyard birding to native herps to setting up a rain barrel.

If you still choose to visit the Forest Preserves for fresh air and mental and physical wellness, you must follow the rules. Be sure to also check our COVID-19 page for a full list of precautions and the latest information on closures and cancellations.

Stay healthy and safe,

Toni Preckwinkle, President

Forest Preserves of Cook County