In This Issue
Saturday, Nov 23 * 10 am-Noon
Rolling Knolls - Rohrssen Rd, south of Bode Rd, Elgin
Create functional furniture and toys using local natural materials. Separated by age groups: 18 & up and ages 8-17. Equipment provided. Registration required; call 708-386-4042 x26.


Thursday, Nov 7 * 5:30-7 pm
Camp Dan Beard - 200 Portwine Rd, Northbrook
Free hands-on workshop series teaching basic camping skills. No youth groups. All ages; children 16 & under w/ adult.
Friday, Nov 15 * 5-8 pm
Caldwell Woods Warming Shelter-W Devon Ave & N Nagle Ave, Chicago
Join us for s'mores by the fire, storytelling and astronomy.


Sunday, Nov 24 * 1 pm
Trailside Museum of Natural History - 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest
Learn about the ancient life recorded in stone, that lies beneath our feet! Join paleontologist Daniel Troiani of Triton College for an engaging presentation and hands-on look at fossils of our area. For adults, and families with children ages 10+. Free.


Saturday, Nov 9 * 9 am
McClaughrey Springs Woods-Kean Ave, north of 119th St, Palos Park
Join us as we walk and explore a 2-mile stretch of the Sag Valley Trail.
Tuesday, Nov 12 * 5:30-7 pm
Camp Sullivan - 14630 Oak Park Ave, Oak Forest
Free, hands-on workshop teaching basic camping skills to youth groups. Registration required, email to register.
Saturday, Nov 16 * 10 am-Noon
Pulaski Woods-East-Wolf Rd, south of 95th St, Willow Springs
Learn proper techniques and bow basics with one-on-one instruction from certified staff. All levels. Ages 10 & up.
Saturday, Nov 16 * 10 am
Vollmer Road Grove - Vollmer Rd, west of Crawford Ave, near Country Club Hills
Get some exercise, meet new people and learn about your local forest preserve. 3.75-mile fitness hike.
Saturday, Nov 23 * 10 am-Noon
Swallow Cliff-North-Calumet Sag Rd, west of La Grange Rd, Palos Hills
Come to the woods and step out of day-to-day pressures. Enjoy a tune-up of senses and spirit during this program led by Joy Clough. Registration required; call  312-533-5751.


Friday, Nov 8 * 5-8 pm
Dan Ryan Woods-Central, Pavilion-S Western Ave, south of W 83rd St, Chicago
Join us for s'mores by the fire, storytelling and astronomy.
Saturday, Nov 16 * 10 am
Eggers Grove - E 112th St & S Ave E, Chicago
Get some exercise, meet new people and learn about your local forest preserve. 2-mile interpretive hike (slower pace, themed interpretation).
Saturday, Nov 16 * 1:30 pm
Sand Ridge Nature Center - 15891 Paxton Ave, South Holland
As the nights grow longer, let go, relax and deepen your connection to nature's yin seasons with the energy practice of Qigong. This indoor and outdoor session of gentle movements and meditation will be led by Qigong Therapist and Teacher Alice Kornblum.
Sunday, Nov 24 * 10 am-3 pm
Sand Ridge Nature Center-15891 Paxton Ave, South Holland
Experience costumed living-history demonstrators, history hikes, crafts, an imaginary wagon
train adventure and more. Admission is free, nonperishable food or monetary donations benefitting a local food depository gratefully accepted.

For details and a full event listing including all regular events at our six Nature Centers,  visit our Events page .
Support Nature on Giving Tuesday
The Forest Preserve Foundation supports nature, education and family programs that make the Forest Preserves of Cook County accessible and welcoming to all. Consider showing your support this year on Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2019.


by Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle

One of the greatest benefits of the Forest Preserves of Cook County is how they protect our natural and cultural heritage.

Our county is home to a unique confluence of natural communities, with hundreds of diverse species of plants and wildlife. Within our Preserves, you can explore woodlands, prairies, savannas and wetlands. Visit Sand Ridge Nature Center and nearby preserves in southeast Cook County to learn about dune-and-swale landscapes that were created by the receding glacial Lake Chicago. In northeast Cook County, remnants of what was once called the "Big Woods" can still be found at Harms Woods and Perkins Woods. Check out our Ecosystems Page to learn more about the many different natural communities in Cook County.

Did you know there is evidence of humans living in Cook County for the past 10,000 years? In forest preserves all throughout the County, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey works with the Forest Preserves to uncover and learn the stories of the people and communities who lived or traveled through this area. Interested in learning more about our cultural history? Plan a visit to our nature centers or Oak Forest Heritage Preserve.

This season--and all year long--I am grateful the Forest Preserves helps protect our area's history so that people today and for generations to come can explore and experience the many wonders of our natural and cultural heritage.

In this issue, you'll learn about our 25th Illinois Nature Preserve--the most dedicated Illinois Nature Preserves for any land management agency in the state. There is also a piece on how small actions can help turn around the dramatic decline in bird populations, as well as tips on how to peacefully coexist with native wildlife throughout the winter season.

We hope to see you in your forest preserves!
Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County
Photo by Charles Edward Miller
The Forest Preserves of Cook County dedicated 169 acres of Harms Woods Forest Preserve as Harms Woods Nature Preserve--a milestone 25th Illinois Nature Preserve--during the October Board of Commissioners meeting. The site brings the Forest Preserves' total Illinois Nature Preserves-designated protected land to 7,250 acres, with habitats that range from a rare local peat bog to a remnant black soil prairie.
Harms Woods Nature Preserve offers an incredibly varied spring woodland wildflower display, including wild geranium, trout lilies, blue cohosh and white trillium. These abundant wildflowers feed butterflies and birds from spring to fall. Visitors can hear frogs call from small ponds and see birds such as great crested flycatchers, chestnut-sided warblers, and Cooper's hawks--and maybe even glimpse a mink as it splashes into the North Branch of the Chicago River.  

Two recent studies have delivered a clear message: Our birds are in major trouble.

According to a  study published in the journal Science in September, North America has lost 29% of all breeding adult birds since 1970--nearly 3 billion birds. Many of these are common birds you see on a walk in the Forest Preserves or a visit to your backyard bird feeder. We've lost two in five Baltimore orioles, one in four blue jays and one in three red-winged blackbirds.
Forest Preserves of Cook County picnic and special event permits for the 2020 season will go on sale online and in person beginning at 8 am on Friday, November 15. Once open, o nline sales remain available 24 hours a day. In addition to saving time by purchasing permits online, the public can view information such as site availability, grove maps and fees associated with grove rentals. Permits are also available for purchase in person at the Forest Preserves' General Headquarters, 536 N Harlem Ave. in River Forest.
As we approach winter, Cook County residents may notice more coyote, deer, mice and other animals out and about. In preparation for colder temperatures, wildlife throughout the county are on the hunt for food and shelter. Looking for tips to keep these animals away from your home? Chris Anchor, senior wildlife biologist for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, offers suggestions on how to peacefully coexist with our native species during winter.

More than 300 people came out to Schiller Woods on Indigenous Peoples Day for a celebration and ribbon-cutting for the Serpent Twin Mound (Pokto Činto) art installation. Created by indigenous artist Santiago X, the mound celebrates and pays homage to the ancestral practice of mound building by Native Americans.
The Forest Preserves of Cook County partnered with the American Indian Center, Chicago Public Arts Group and the Portage Park Neighborhood Association to install the Serpent Twin Mound as part of the upcoming Northwest Portage Walking Museum. In the spring, native plants will sprout on the installation, located just east of the Des Plaines Trail, north of Irving Park Road.

Native Americans continue to live and practice their heritage and traditions in the Chicago region, including through stewardship of the land. Chicago is home to the country's third-largest urban Native American community, and it is the responsibility of the Forest Preserves of Cook County to engage this community--celebrating its past and supporting its future. Read the Forest Preserves of Cook County's Land Acknowledgement.

Experience the transition from fall to winter. Consider volunteering in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. There are opportunities throughout the county for people of all ages and experience levels.
The November photo of the month, "Great Horned Owl," was taken by Leo Estrada at Crabtree Nature Center. Did you know? The great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) will eat almost anything it can catch-from tiny insects to large prey such as hawks and skunks. Interested in learning more about great horned owls and other native owls? Plan a visit to one of the Forest Preserves' nature centers to chat with a naturalist and view resident owls.