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President's Letter: Spend Time With Loved Ones Exploring the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, residents and visitors have numerous opportunities to get outside and enjoy the season. Each of our Nature Centers offers fun and educational programming, and there are myriad hands-on and informative events and programs to learn about camping, try snowshoeing and more.

In this issue of the Forest Way, readers will learn about our Resource Management Department’s Wildlife Management Division. FPCC wildlife biologists work together with numerous other agencies to understand the various animals and insects found in the Forest Preserves.  This important research can help inform conservation decisions, as well as help us understand zoonotic diseases.

Also in this issue is a plant profile on red-osier dogwood. This woody shrub provides a stunning visual respite from winter’s traditional neutral palette. The bark can remain a vibrant red throughout the season, making it easy to spot while enjoying a hike or visit in the Forest Preserves.

Finally, readers will also find information on various volunteer opportunities taking place throughout the Forest Preserves this month. The list is just a sampling of the different opportunities; many more stewardship and workday options can be found on our Volunteer Page.

Don’t forget, Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. If you’re still looking for a special way to spend time with loved ones, consider joining in on one of the Nature Centers’ themed events. Find a full list on our Events Page.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle
President, Forest Preserves of Cook County