In This Issue

Wed., Aug 15 * 4:15 - 6:15 pm
Busse Lake Boating Center, Grove 20, E Higgins Rd, east of I-290, Elk Grove Village
Learn proper techniques and bow basics from one-on-one instruction with certified staff. Open to all skill levels. Recommended for ages 10 & up.
Saturday, Aug 25 * 6 - 11 pm
Busse Lake Boating Center, E Higgins Rd, east of I-290, Elk Grove Village
Paddle on Busse Lake and bike the loop trail at sunset, twilight, or in the dark! Ticket includes live music, bonfires, snacks, and beer. Visit for details and tickets.

Sat, Aug 11 * 9:30 am - 2 pm
Dam No. 1 Woods-East, Dundee Rd, east of Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling
Join in our clean-up efforts as we paddle along the river, learn about aquatic life, and why it is important to keep our rivers clean. Tools provided. All Ages.
Saturday, Aug 18 * 10 am - 2 pm
Rolling Knolls, 11N260 Rohrssen Rd, Elgin
As we say a sad goodbye to summer, come out for a day of paddling, archery and more. Instruction and gear provided. Group registration required. 

Wednesday, Aug 8 * 4 - 6 pm
National Grove-South, Groveland Ave, north of 31st St, North Riverside
Learn proper techniques and bow basics from one-on-one instruction with certified staff. Open to all skill levels. Recommended for ages 10 & up.

Sunday, Aug 12 * 1 pm
Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest 
Make a simple musical instrument with us, or bring your own! All are welcome to join the jam!

Saturday, Aug 18 * 9 am - 2 pm
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W 111th St, Lemont
Celebrate the beauty of these amazing birds! Join us for activities, viewing and demos of how the birds are banded for tracking and research purposes.

Thurs., Aug 23 * 6 - 8 pm
Camp Sullivan, 14630 Oak Park Ave, Oak Forest
Come to this free workshop to learn how to make great tasting and easy meals over a fire using cast-iron and basic campfire cooking techniques. Registration required, email to register.

Sunday, Aug 26 * 10 am - Noon
Oak Forest Heritage Preserve-West, 159th St, east of S Cicero Ave, Oak Forest
Discover the uncommon history beneath the surface of this iconic preserve that spans 13,000 years. All ages, recommended for ages 12 & up.

Saturday, Aug 11 * 10 am - 1 pm
Sauk Trail Woods-Central, Forest Preserve Dr, south of W 26th St, South Chicago Heights
Explore Thorn Creek Trail's southern portion with a guided hike observing the preserve's ecology; learn tips to become a better hiker. Ages 10 & up.
Wednesday, Aug 15 * 4 - 7 pm
Dan Ryan Woods-Central, W 83rd St, east of S Western Ave, Chicago
Learn proper techniques and bow basics from one-on-one instruction with certified staff. Open to all skill levels. Recommended for ages 10 & up.
Monday, Aug 20 * Rowan Park, 11546 S Avenue L, Chicago
Join us for a movie night in partnership with the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks. A feature film will be shown, complimented with family-friendly activities from the Forest Preserves and free popcorn courtesy of the Chicago Park District. Pre-movie activities start at 6:30 pm, movie begins at dusk.
Sat, Aug 25 * 6:30 - 10:30 pm
Camp Shabbona Woods, 15810 S Torrence Ave, South Holland
Join us as we celebrate summer with a giant bonfire, nature play, art-making, s'mores, and a food truck.

For details and a full event listing including all regular events at our six Nature Centers, visit our Events page.
Last Call: Golf for Good During Annual Conservation Cup
Golfers of all levels can take part in the Forest Preserve Foundation's 7th Annual Conservation Cup on Thursday, Sept. 13 at George W. Dunne National Golf Course in Oak Forest. Net proceeds from the event go toward grants that continue the Foundation's support of youth engagement in nature-based programs. Learn more at

Save the Date: 2019 Permits on Sale Beginning Nov. 15 
Picnic permits for the 2019 season will go on sale beginning Thursday, November 15, 2018. Learn more about purchasing a picnic or special event permit in the Forest Preserves of Cook County at


by Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle and General Superintendent Arnold Randall

The Forest Preserves of Cook County's values are clear: all people are welcome, and everyone should feel safe at any of our facilities. The incident that occurred on June 14 in Caldwell Woods was disturbing and appalling. The Forest Preserves is deeply committed to inclusiveness and we make every effort to infuse our work with that commitment. We know there's always room for improvement and we want to use the incident as an opportunity to grow stronger.
We have already begun reaching out to our partners in the community, seeking advice about how we can better serve all communities and be more welcoming hosts to patrons of diverse backgrounds. We are seeking advice from the leaders who best understand the needs of their communities.
While we have worked hard to expand community partnerships and create new relationships that have resulted in various programs and initiatives -- such as the Camping Leadership Immersion Course, Forest Preserve Experience, and numerous culturally diverse special events -- we are setting goals for more and also for ways to make those partnerships more impactful. One such event was last weekend's Peace in the Preserves, which was hosted by Northwest Side Coalition Against Racism and Hate. The Forest Preserves was proud to support the event, and offer attendees nature-based activities. 
We are also having internal discussions with every member of our Forest Preserves staff. Forest Preserves leadership has made it a priority to create an inclusive environment and a staff that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We also value continued improvement, which includes ways to engage all of our staff, especially different ethnicities and people of color. We know those directly impacted are those who are best-equipped to guide our policies.
Additionally, we are analyzing our procedures and looking at ways to improve all aspects of employee training. We want to best understand how training can be improved - not just for officers, but for all our staff. This unfortunate incident presents us with a learning opportunity and we intend to use it.
Please know that we are working every day to earn the trust of all our residents and visitors.

We hope to see you in the Preserves.
Toni Preckwinkle, President
Arnold Randall, General Superintendent
Forest Preserves of Cook County

by Stephen DeFalco, program coordinator, Forest Preserves of Cook County

With more than 300 miles of marked trails within the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visitors can enjoy traversing through a variety of native habitats, spotting birds and butterflies, and viewing beautifully restored landscapes. 


by Leslie Decourcey, naturalist aide, Sagawau Environmental Learning Center

The sight of a hummingbird flitting between flowers can delight even the most jaded among us, but a closer look at these birds reveals even more reason for amazement. In our area we have one native species: the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). 
Learn more...

The August Calendar Photo of the Month, "Giant Swallowtail" by Bonnie Wydra, features a close-up of the boldly patterned butterfly feeding at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center grounds. Butterflies go through four life cycles before being developing into a butterfly: egg, larva, pupa and butterfly. During the larva stage, the giant swallowtail's distinct pattern resembles bird droppings. This bio-mimicry allows the larva to develop on leaves without being detected by predators. Once developed into an adult butterfly, giant swallowtails will migrate south to flee the coming winter. 

Check out this short video documenting one of our annual summer rituals: osprey banding. Forest Preserves Wildlife staff members measure and weigh the chicks, draw blood and check them for overall signs of health. Each chick gets an aluminum band with a unique identifier. Why band? If banded ospreys are found again, we can track their migration, health and causes of mortality. Our osprey propagation program started in the late 1980s and now boasts 20 nesting platforms throughout the county.


We know that people who love the Forest Preserves (just like you!) are the greatest champions of our natural areas, and often help connect others to this great resource. By becoming a Nature Ambassador Supporter or Nature Ambassador Outreach Volunteer , you can help spread the word about all the wild and wonderful the Forest Preserves has to offer.

Learn more about these volunteer opportunities and attend a training on August 19th to get started!

New in 2018, Saganashkee Slough visitors can now rent canoes and kayaks at the Saganashkee Slough Boat Launch. Saganashkee Slough is a shallow lake with more than miles of shoreline. Did you know? There are five boat rental locations throughout the Forest Preserves. Enjoy a day on the water in a canoe, kayak, rowboat or electric motor boat. 


Enjoy warm, sunny days this summer while giving back to nature. Consider joining a volunteer workday in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. There are opportunities throughout the county for people of all ages and experience levels.