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President's Letter: Join Us for a Party for the Preserves

The Forest Preserves of Cook County are an incredible public resource. Throughout the County, residents and visitors can take advantage of nearly 70,000 acres of natural land. Our preserves offer opportunities to enjoy myriad recreational activities including hiking, biking, picnicking and more. Residents and visitors can also view natural exhibits and resident wildlife at six Nature Centers, experience more than 20 designated nature preserves, or spend a night under the stars at five campgrounds.

For these reasons and many more, we are celebrating National Public Lands Day with two Party for the Preserves events. On Saturday, September 22, 2018 at Camp Sullivan in Oak Forest, and on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at Deer Grove East in Palatine, residents and visitors are invited to join us for two days full of activities. Attendees can enjoy nature-based crafts, archery, night hikes, stargazing, birding and more. Learn more about these special events in this month’s newsletter.

Forest Way readers will also learn about prairies in this month’s newsletter. Did you know that Illinois is known as the Prairie State. Prairies once covered Illinois, but the lands were turned into sites used primarily for agriculture. Be sure to check out some of the stunning prairie wildflower photos in the article, and plan a visit to a prairie to see some of the wildflowers in bloom.

Also in this issue of the Forest Way is a link to learn more about the Forest Preserve Foundation’s support for Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps. The program, hosted in partnership with Friends of the Forest Preserves and Student Conservation Association, is a six-week hands-on summer paid work experience in which dozens of Cook County youth learn about local ecology, network with conservation professionals, and receive extensive and specialized conservation training.

Finally, this month’s Forest Way includes information on our annual photo contest. Submissions will be accepted through September 15, and winning photographs will be showcased in the 2019 Forest Preserves of Cook County Wall Calendar. We look forward to seeing the many great photography submissions highlighting some of the Forest Preserves’ beautiful landscapes, plants, insects, birds and more.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County