In This Issue

Friday, July 26 * 5:30-8:30 pm
Rolling Knolls - 11N260 Rohrssen Rd, Elgin
Using a large tree slice as your canvas, explore nature through painting in this instructor-led workshop. Materials provided. Ages 21 & up. BYOB. $20/person. Payment upon registration. Call 708-386-4042 x26.


Saturday, July 20 * 9-11 am
Beck Lake-East River Rd & Central Rd, Des Plaines
Join us as we paddle and explore Beck Lake. Instruction and gear provided. Ages 5 & up. Registration required, call 708-386-4042 x26.
Thursday, July 11 * 5:30-7 pm
Camp Dan Beard - 200 Portwine Rd, Northbrook
Free hands-on workshops for individuals and families, teaching basic camping skills.
All ages; children 16 & under w/ adult.

Wednesday, July 24 * 6:30 pm
Willye B. White Park - 1610 Howard St, Chicago
Film: Aquaman. In partnership with the Chicago Park District forest fun comes to the city. Family friendly activities start at 6:30 pm, film starts at dusk.

Wednesday, July 31 * 8 pm
River Trail Nature Center - 3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook
Learn about these fascinating creatures while watching for them over the river. $3/person. Registration required, call 847-824-8360. 

Sunday, July 7 * 10 am
Chicago Portage National Historic Site - S Harlem Ave, south of 47th St, Lyons
Join us for a nearly 1-mile walk. We'll talk about the site's history and enjoy the surrounding landscape.

Wednesday, July 17 * 2 pm
Trailside Museum of Natural History - 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest
Learn to kayak on Trailside's pond. All materials and instruction are provided. $5/person or $10/family. Registration required, call 708-366-6530.

Thursday, July 18 * 11 am-2 pm
Cummings Square - 536 N Harlem Ave, River Forest
Celebrate and learn about insects. Explore how pollinators help us, follow the migratory patterns of butterflies, and make insect-inspired art. All ages.


Thursday, July 11 * 6-8:30 pm
Swallow Cliff-North - Calumet Sag Rd, west of La Grange Rd, Palos Hills
In partnership with Village of Palos Park, enjoy a night of free live music from 51 Lincoln Band. Bring a seat and snacks and relax to the tunes. More details at
Saturday, July 20 * 8-11 am
Papoose Lake - McCarthy Rd, west of S La Grange Rd, Palos Park
Join the Village of Palos Park and the Forest Preserves for a family-fun day of fishing.

Saturday, July 20 * 10 am
Oak Forest Heritage Preserve-East - 16150 Fieldcrest Dr, Oak Forest
Get some exercise, meet new people and learn something about your local forest preserves with this new series. 1.75 mile hike includes interpretative theme and a slower pace.

Tuesday, July 23 * 5:30-7 pm
Camp Bullfrog Lake - 9600 Wolf Rd, Willow Springs
Free hands-on workshops for individuals and families, teaching basic camping skills. All ages; children 16 & under w/ adult.


Thursdays in July * 10-11 am
Dan Ryan Woods - S Western Ave between 83rd and 87th St, Chicago
Join Oak Street Health-Ashburn for yoga. Bring your own mat. Ages 50 & older.
Outdoor Block Party
Saturday, July 6 * Noon-4 pm
Camp Shabbona Woods - 15810 S Torrence Ave, South Holland
Nature play, pop-up adventure play, creative reuse, games, hikes and more. We'll also have a food vendor on site.

Saturday, July 13 * 10 am
Sand Ridge Nature Center - 15891 S Paxton Ave, South Holland
Historians and naturalists will lead the discussion of how now-common plants reveal how local Illinois communities fit into the story of the largest change in a single landscape in U.S. history.

Saturday, July 13 * 10 am-3 pm
Wampum Lake - Thornton-Lansing Rd & Willigan Rd, Thornton-Lansing
Outdoor extravaganza for the whole family. Click here to register. 
Friday, July 19 * 4:30-7:30 pm
Dan Ryan VIP Treehouse - 87th and Western by the Visitor's Center
Dan Ryan's newest amenity, the Dan Ryan Tree House, a Vertical Imagination Palace for nature play fun.
Friday, July 26 * 10 am-Noon
Dan Ryan Woods - S Western Ave & W 87th St, Chicago
Led by UIE Master Naturalist Roberta Jannsen. Registration required, call 708-386-4042.

Tuesday, July 30 * 6:30 pm
Fuller Park - 331 W 45th St, Chicago
Film: Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. In partnership with the Chicago Park District forest fun comes to the city. Family friendly activities start at 6:30 pm, film starts at dusk.

For details and a full event listing including all regular events at our six Nature Centers, visit our Events page.


by Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle

Last month, I had the honor of attending the Forest Preserves of Cook County's annual Live Healthy, Discover Nature event in Chicago's Daley Plaza. During the 4-hour event, Forest Preserves partners and staff introduced the many opportunities to enjoy our local wilderness to hundreds of downtown visitors and employees.
One of the most exciting aspects of this event is the location in the heart of Chicago, where many might be surprised to learn about Cook County's rich natural diversity. From forest canopies to tallgrass prairies, thriving nature is just a short distance from towering skyscrapers, bustling Michigan Avenue and congested Lake Shore Drive.
Forest Preserves staff and representatives from partners shared information about hiking, mountain biking, waste reduction, camping, native plant gardening, model airplane flying and more. I want to thank Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago Zoological Society, Openlands, Shedd Aquarium, Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability, CAMBr, Chicago Park District, University of Illinois Extension and the other organizations for their time and expertise.
Those who stopped by the event were also able to meet native resident animals, from birds of prey to a native turtle. The Mike Nowak Show livestreamed interviews with participants and supporters--including myself and General Superintendent Arnold Randall--so the reach went beyond Daley Plaza, as well.
Making these connections is so important. With nearly 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful, many Cook County residents can visit a forest preserve within 20 minutes from leaving their home. Once at a Forest Preserves site, visitors can enjoy birds chirping and wind in the trees while walking miles of trails, or simply sit back and take in the sights and sounds in the beautiful landscapes.
If you have not yet explored the Forest Preserves, I encourage you to check out our website at to find out more about how to immerse yourself in nature. No matter your interest, be it boating, fishing, camping or creating art, there is a way for you to enjoy the Forest Preserves of Cook County.
We hope to see you in your forest preserves!
Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County
Photo: copyright University of Illinois Board of Trustees, courtesy of the Prairie Research Institute.
The Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey recently worked together on an archaeological investigation of a historically significant, pre-Columbian village site known as Huber, located in the Palos preserves.
The Huber site was a large Native American farming village in Cook County and was the first archaeological site officially recorded in this portion of Illinois. Much of the site has been destroyed by urban expansion; however, a portion is preserved within the forest preserve.
Sometime during 1980-2000, relic hunters dug into portions of the site and their pits remained visible as recently as last month. ISAS worked to re-excavate the looters' pits and record valuable archaeological information before re-filling them and restoring the site to its original appearance.

Check out this Daily Southtown article to learn more...
Ayúdenos a cuidar a nuestras reservas forestales cada tercer sábado de cada mes! Ven y disfruta de la naturaleza y aprende como identificar plantas nativas e introducidas. Todo Latinx, y gente que quiere practicar español, está invitado. Lo esperamos en Possum Hollow Woods en La Grange Park! 


The Greater Maywood Paddling Program helps get people who have never kayaked out onto the water. This spring, the program was recently recognized with two national awards: the Project Excellence Award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals and a National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials Award in their Park and Recreation Program - Class II category.
This unique community paddling initiative provides an economical, supportive and user-friendly way for organized groups to connect to nature through paddling. After learning how to lead group paddling excursions, community leaders can borrow paddling gear from the Forest Preserves' Kayak Gear Lending Library. Since launching the Greater Maywood Paddling Program last summer, the Forest Preserves has trained more than 20 community leaders to host guided paddling trips.

On Saturday, June 29, Forest Preserves Police once again joined Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove at a "pit stop" for bicyclists and pedestrians on the paved trail at Busse Woods. Visitors were served refreshments, filled their bike tires, and learned about trail safety, trail etiquette and the many miles of trails available throughout the Forest Preserves. The team also provided 31 bicycle helmets to promote safe riding in the Preserves. Be sure to watch for a future pit stop along the Busse Woods trails from 8 am to noon on Saturday, July 13; from 8 am to noon on Saturday, August 17; from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, September 14; and from 9 am to noon on Saturday, October 5.


Summer is here. Enjoy warm weather and sunshine by heading out to the Forest Preserves of Cook County to participate in a volunteer restoration workday. Volunteering is fun and meaningful, and there are opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels.
The July calendar photo of the month, "Springwater Dancer Damselfly" by Edward Boe. Was taken at Crabtree Nature Center. Did you know? According to fossil records, the earliest species from the order Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies) took flight 250 million years ago. Interested in spotting some damselflies and dragonflies? Take a walk in the woods! Check out our events page for a list of upcoming programs and events that include guided walks.