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Press Release: President Preckwinkle Encourages Public to Commit to Day of Service in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Group photo of Lost Boyz Inc at the annual MLK, Jr. Day of Service Event
Lost Boyz Inc. youth, captured in a group photo, participate in a Forest Preserves event facilitated by the Nature Express Bus program. Free admission is extended to any group visiting destinations such as Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden through this program.

Visit the Forest Preserves of Cook County for restoration, litter clean-ups

January 12, 2023 — Cook County Board and Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle is encouraging Cook County residents to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by committing to a day of community service in the Preserves.

“The lessons Dr. King left us about the necessity of equity and the power of community are a transcendent gift for every American. To celebrate his legacy, let’s remember those lessons and remind ourselves that we too can choose to make a difference,” says President Preckwinkle.

On Saturday, January 14, Cook County residents can join restoration efforts at Rolling Knolls in Elgin during the MLK Service Day Celebration, hosted in partnership with the Izaak Walton League-Elgin Chapter. From 10 am to 1 pm, volunteers can participate in ecological restoration by removing brush around the pond at Rolling Knolls using loppers and bowsaws, as well as warming up at bonfires at the site and enjoying hot beverages.

For residents that want to continue celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the Forest Preserves, there are several opportunities on Monday, January 16. Programs at different sites will have a range of activities including restoration work, self-led litter clean-ups, crafts and hot cocoa.

“To celebrate Dr. King, the Forest Preserves invites residents to come together for volunteer environmental restoration at sites across Cook County. The Forest Preserves provide the public with places to get outside for nature, fresh air and exercise. The MLK Day of Service programs are an opportunity to spend some time in nature and give back,” says Forest Preserves General Superintendent Arnold Randall.

Beyond Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, anyone can commit to regularly volunteering in the Forest Preserves by joining a volunteer-led opportunity or through the Select Organized Litter Obliterators, or SOLO, program. SOLO volunteers can choose to go to a Litter Hotspot—specific locations identified for litter clean up—or any Forest Preserves site of their choosing. Volunteer information can be found on the Forest Preserves’ website at fpdcc.com/volunteer.

MLK Day of Service Programs

Join us for these upcoming events and programs celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day:


About the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Don’t you sometimes just want to escape? Explore the natural beauty of Cook County for an hour, a day or even a night. When you’re surrounded by 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful there’s no better place to feel free.