Trek deep into the forests of Cook County Preserve District

Published on January 24, 2022

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is a beautiful natural reserve located less than 30 minutes away from downtown Chicago. Take advantage of the season and check all the winter events they have now!

For more than 100 years, some Americans have been conscious of their natural resources and the necessity to properly manage them. As a consequence, many organizations plan and promote the national conservation of parks and reserves. The Chicago metropolitan area was one of the first in the United States to establish a park system with an outer ring of nature reserves.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is 70,000 acres of recreational  forest convenient to  downtown Chicago. With plenty of activities for people of all ages, it’s a great space to take some time to relax, get active, or just have fun enjoying free or low-cost events. With programs like concerts in the woods or classes about native animals can truly enrich your experience. Other activities, such as cycling, boating, camping, kayaking, hiking, swimming, snowmobiling, and indoor events.

History on preservation

Two great Chicagoans built the conservation effort: architect Dwight Perkins and landscape architect Jens Jensen, both affiliate to the Municipal Science Club. They predicted the rapid growth of Chicago’s population and prepared the city for the business interests that would interfere with its environment.  

In 1901, they led the City Council to establish a Special Park Commission on a national level. They proactively planned parks and recreational spaces  with a community approach. The architects also included extensive open areas that could be improved without incurring great expenses. 

Since then, the Preserves staff has worked with nonprofit partners and of volunteers to conserve, preserve and restore the land. The absorption of more than 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 each year reflects the ecological importance of this work. It also provides 1,600 jobs, by staying loyal to its mission of “offering education, pleasure, and recreation to the public now and in the future”.

So if you like nature, outdoor activities, or even volunteer work, visit this incredible preservation for a day or perhaps even for a whole night. We recommend that you take advantage of the season and check all the winter events they have now. Get started, plan the perfect trip and learn more about the sustainability vision this place has for you.

You can get involved and volunteer to maintain the forest preserves as an amazing local amentiy.  There are loads of volunteer activities you can find here.

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