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President's Letter: Visit the Forest Preserves for Trail Challenge, Summer Wildflowers

August is a beautiful time to visit the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Summer wildflowers are in bloom, the sun continues to shine brightly, and visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities outdoors.

In this issue of the Forest Way, readers will learn about some of the benefits of one our youth summer job opportunities – the Forest Preserves Experience. This summer, the Forest Preserves partnered with the Housing Authority of Cook County and Friends of the Forest Preserves to provide work experience for 50 youth. Throughout the summer, the participants learned soft skills as well as hands-on training in environmental and conservation-focused work.

Also in this issue of the Forest Way is information about the Forest Preserves’ first-ever trail challenge, Postcards from the North Branch Trail. Between August 11 and October 15, trail users can step inside life-sized postcards found along the North Branch Trail. Those who follow the contest directions will be entered to win some great Forest Preserves prizes.

Finally, this issue also includes information on a couple of ways to explore the Forest Preserves’ North Zone for an hour, a day, or even a night. Within the North Zone, visitors will find exceptional natural areas such as Harms Flatwoods, which is an Illinois Nature Preserve, as well as family-friendly attractions like River Trail Nature Center and Camp Dan Beard. This month, there is also an interesting read on clams, an inconspicuous mollusk that may be more commonly associated with oceans.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County