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President's Letter: Watch for Signs of Spring in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visitors will begin seeing signs of spring. As the weather becomes warmer during daylight and remaining cold at night, maple trees will produce sap used to make maple syrup. Another sign of spring is the appearance of spring wildflowers. Visitors can watch for these beautiful flowers while walking on trails and visiting Nature Centers. Be sure to check out our Events Page for upcoming maple syrup and wildflower events and programming.

In this issue of the Forest Way, readers will learn about one of the Forest Preserves’ oldest stewardship groups, the North Branch Restoration Project. Dedicated volunteers, who have been performing important work at Miami Woods Prairie and other sites along the north branch of the Chicago River, recently celebrated 40 years of restoration efforts.

Also in this issue of the Forest Way is information on the first snowy owl tagged and released in the Forest Preserves in decades. Snowy owls have been sighted along Chicago’s lakefront; inland sightings indicate conservation and restoration efforts have been improving local habitats for numerous species.

Finally, this issue includes information on some of the Forest Preserves’ summer camp opportunities. Registration for Nature Center day camps begins Monday, April 2. Children can have fun at these educational programs and learn about a range of nature-related topics.

Don’t forget starting this month, most Forest Preserves Nature Centers have new hours. Trails are open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, and buildings are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm (exhibit halls are closed on Fridays).

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle,

Forest Preserves of Cook County