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President's Letter: Fall in the Forest Preserves

Fall is a wonderful time to visit the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The days remain warm while evenings bring cooler temperatures. All around us leaves are changing colors and animals are preparing for the colder months ahead. Many of the Forest Preserves’ Nature Centers are offering various ways to enjoy this seasonal transition. Be sure to check out our Events Page for a list of fall color hikes, guided bird walks and much more.

Featured in this month’s Forest Way is a profile on poison ivy. While many may think poison ivy is simply a nuisance, this native plant actually has some positive features. Learning how to identify the plant and protect oneself from possible contact are ways to enjoy these positive attributes without worrying about the potential negative reactions associated with poison ivy.

Also in this issue of the Forest Way is an update on the Forest Preserves’ Conservation@Home program, which was launched in partnership with the University of Illinois Extension earlier this year. The program encourages home gardeners to adopt environmentally friendly practices that help provide wildlife and native plant habitat in residential, school or workplace gardens. Those who are interested can have their gardens evaluated and certified through the program.

And don’t forgot the Forest Preserves first-ever trail challenge, Postcards from the North Branch Trail, continues through October 15. Trail users are encouraged to step inside life-sized postcards found along the North Branch Trail. Those who follow the contest directions will be entered to win Forest Preserves-themed prizes.

Finally, readers can view the results from the 2017 Forest Preserves Photo Contest. The photos showcase stunning images of some of the plants, animals and landscapes that can be found in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. We hope the photos inspire each of you to plan a trip to a nearby forest preserve.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle
President, Forest Preserves of Cook County