Thousands of plants and animals—including over one hundred threatened and endangered species—depend on the natural areas in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

On this page:

Preserve & Restore

Restoration in progress at Cranberry Slough. A trail runs down the center. To the left of the trail: restored, open woodland. To the right of trail: Woodland choked with invasive honeysuckle.

What is Restoration?

a savanna opening at Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve

Our Ecosystems

blazing star flowers in an open field at the Portwine restoration area in summer 2016.

Plans & Current Projects

early evening in the woods at Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve. Photo by Chad Reno.

Illinois Nature Preserves

A prescribed burn at Arthur L. Janura Preserve.

Prescribed Burning

the night sky over Maple Lake with the Maple Lake Boathouse lit up in the background

Dark Skies & Reducing Light Pollution

two wildlife biologists banding egrets at Baker's Lake



inside the exhibit area of Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center's visitors center

Nature Centers

a group walks through a prairie

People & Nature


a group of people from the Student Conservation Association doing restoration work

Conservation Corps Programs

a garden with a Conservation@Home sign


looking up at a large bur oak tree

Champion Tree Register

prairie plants at Somme Prairie

Growing, Not Mowing

an illustration of animals riding a bus through the woods

Nature Express Bus