In This Issue

Saturday, June 15 * 9 am-Noon
Busse Lake Boating Center-Grove 25 - E Higgins Rd/Rte 72, east of I-290/Hwy 53,
Elk Grove Village
Comm. Kevin B. Morrison invites everyone to explore Busse Woods. Join a fishing derby and enjoy casting lessons, kids tree climb, local eats and visits from the Shedd Aquarium and Brookfield Zoo. Free. Info and registration: call 773-485-8006 or click here to email.

Wed., June 26 * 5:30-7 pm 
Camp Reinberg - 1801 N Quentin Rd, Palatine
Free hands-on workshop for individuals and families, teaching basic camping skills. All ages; children 16 & under w/ adult.

Saturday, June 29 * 11 am-1 pm
Busse Lake Boating Center-South Pool - E Higgins Rd/Rte 72, east of I-290/Hwy 53,
Elk Grove Village
Join us as we paddle and explore Busse Lake's South Pool. Instruction and gear provided. Ages 5 & up. Registration required, call 708-386-4042 x26.


Friday-Saturday, June 21-22
Camp Dan Beard - 200 Portwine Rd, Northbrook
Want to take your family camping? We can help! Join us for a night of camping in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Dinner, breakfast, camping gear and guided outdoor activities included. $75 per family of 6. Email to register.

Thurs., June 13 * 6:30-8:30 pm
Thatcher Woods - Chicago Ave, west of Thatcher Ave, River Forest
Adults are invited to a night of outdoor games, trivia and nature play. Ages 21 & up. BYOB.

Saturday, June 22 * 11 am-2 pm
Twenty-Sixth Street Woods-West - 26th St, east of S 25th Ave, La Grange Park
Attempt this obstacle course created from natural materials. Other nature play, exploration and art activities, too. All ages.

Monday-Friday, June 24-28 * 9 am-3 pm
Thatcher Woods Pavilion - 8030 W Chicago Ave, River Forest
young crafters and artists will have many projects to choose from as we create outdoor art exhibits that will be on permanent display. Registration required.


Thursday, June 13 * 5:30-7 pm 
Camp Bullfrog Lake - 9600 Wolf Rd, Willow Springs
Free hands-on workshop for individuals and families, teaching basic camping skills. All ages; children 16 & under w/ adult.

Saturday, June 15 * 10 am
Midlothian Meadows - Crawford Ave, north of W 159th St, Breman Township
Get some exercise, meet new peopl e and learn something about your local forest preserves with this new series.

Thursday, June 20 * 4-7 pm
Bremen Grove - Oak Park Ave, south of 159th St, Tinley Park  
Learn proper technique and bow basics from one-on-one instruction with our certified staff. All equipment provided. Ages 10 & up.
Saturday, June 22 * 8-11 am
Maple Lake - Wolf Rd, south of 95th St, Willow Springs
Join the Village of Palos Park and the Forest Preserves for a family-fun day of fishing.


Saturday, June 8 * 11 am-3 pm
Beaubien Woods - W Doty Ave S, southeast of E 130th St & S Ellis Ave, Chicago
Enjoy fishing, canoeing, archery and more. Register here.

Hike the Preserves: Interpretive Hike
Saturday, June 15 * 10 am
Sauk Trail Woods-Central Forest Preserve Dr, south of W 26th St, South Chicago Heights 
Get some exercise, meet new peopl e and learn something about your local forest preserves with this new series.

Saturday, June 15 * 10 am-3 pm
Sand Ridge Nature Center - 15891 S Paxton Ave,
South Holland
Celebrate freedom, family and country with Underground Railroad interactive hikes, a wild edibles display, period recipe samples, crafts and more.

Wednesday, June 19 * 4-7pm
Dan Ryan Woods-Grove 5 - S Western Ave, south of W 83rd St, Chicago
Learn proper technique and bow basics from one-on-one instruction with our certified staff. All equipment provided. Ages 10 & up.

Thursday, June 27 * 5:30-7 pm 
Camp Shabbona Woods - 15810 S Torrence Ave, South Holland
Free hands-on workshop for individuals and families, teaching basic camping skills. All ages; children 16 & under w/ adult.

Immigrant Landscape
Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 S Paxton Ave,
South Holland
From dandelions planted by European settlers to the Norway maples that now line suburban streets, this interactive walk will explore how people have altered the landscape of Illinois to serve their economic needs. 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. Registration required.

Movies in the Park: Films from the Forest
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.
Try This! New Event Celebrates Pride Month
Saturday, June 22 * 11 am-2 pm
Caldwell Woods - 6350 W Devon Ave, Chicago

In partnership with the Northwest Side Coalition Against Racism & Hate, join us in celebrating Pride month and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Everyone is welcome!

Come out for the Forest Preserve Foundation's Spring Symposium 
Join the Forest Preserve Foundation on Friday, 6/14, for a program that explores both the recreational and occupational opportunities within the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Through personal and institutional stories, Foundation partners, funders, Conservation Corps alums and Forest Preserves' staff will highlight the Preserves' value and impact on the Chicago region. Click here to learn more.


by Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle

The Forest Preserves of Cook County provide many benefits to residents. Native plants and animals can thrive in the nearly 70,000 acres of preserves, and our county's air and water are cleaner because of these open lands. During summer, one of the very best benefits of the Forest Preserves is how each of us have a chance to fill our summer vacations with fun outdoor recreation.
Here are a couple ideas on how to enjoy the Forest Preserves this summer:
  • Pitch a tent or rent a cabin at one of the Forest Preserves' five campgrounds. The sites are open seven days a week, and from Memorial Day through Labor Day, staff provide campfires and evening programs on Friday and Saturday nights, and Saturday afternoon activities and hikes. New to camping? The Forest Preserves offers various Camping 101 programs, and the campgrounds have gear rentals.
  • Cool off at one of the Preserves' three family aquatic centers. Visitors of all ages can relax and splash, or even take swim lessons.
  • Hit the links for a relaxing game of golf. The Forest Preserves are home to 10 beautiful golf courses. If you want to try something new, consider a game of disc golf at Rolling Knolls Forest Preserve.
  • Spend an afternoon fishing. Within the Forest Preserves, anglers of all ages will find more the 40 locations open to public fishing. Check out our fishing guide here.
  • Explore a nature center and enjoy fun, family-friendly events. Whether you're looking for something educational or want to hear some live music, there are plenty of programs hosted throughout the Forest Preserves during summer.
In this issue, read about a multi-agency effort to restore critical wetland habitat at Eggers Grove. This south Chicago forest preserve is important for migrating marsh birds, but decades-old development has altered the site's water levels. A new water control structure will allow the Forest Preserves to replicate the conditions of the local wetland system when it previously drained into nearby Wolf Lake.
Also in this issue is a recap from a recent public meeting outlining recommended improvements to the Des Plaines Trail--which is one of two Forest Preserves trails highlighted in a recent article in the Chicago Tribune on options for using public transportation to get out to nature.

We hope to see you in the preserves!
Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County
Photo by Carol Freeman
At the Illinois-Indiana border east of Lake Calumet is Eggers Grove, a 240-acre woodland and wetland preserve that attracts people from all over the county and is a haven for migrating birds from around the country. Since urban development cut off the site from Wolf Lake, the wetland no longer has a natural fluctuation in water levels. At the end of May, construction began on a new system that will allow the Forest Preserves to drain and adjust the water levels in the area on a more natural cycle, and restore one of the few remaining wetlands in the Calumet region.

Learn more about the project...
The Forest Preserves of Cook County is exploring how to close a gap in the Des Plaines Trail between Golf and Central avenues where Union Pacific Railroad tracks cross the trail. In May, the Forest Preserves hosted a public open house at the Des Plaines Public Library to share initial findings for improvement options. More than 30 attendees viewed and commented on the exhibits, asked questions of the staff and consultants, and provided feedback on the recommended trail improvement.


Did you know some of our trails are accessible via public transportation? Check out this recent Chicago Tribune article  featuring the North Branch Trail and Des Plaines Trail, with directions for using CTA trains and buses.
The Forest Preserves has more than 300 miles of trails throughout Cook County--from single-track trails loved by mountain bikers to paved trails that let new parents take a stroll and stroller through the woods. This month, the Forest Preserves is sharing tips on how to safely share the trail with other users. Check out our Facebook or Twitter account each Saturday this month for a helpful tip.

The June calendar photo of the month, "Scolded Heron" by Scott Hansen, was taken at Paul Douglas Forest Preserve. Great blue herons nest together in isolated tree-top colonies with other water birds. If a predator (or unwelcome heron) visits a nest, the intruder meets a sharp, thrusting bill. The Forest Preserves are home to hundreds of native and migrating birds. Interested in learning more? Check out our birding site to find a birding checklist and a list of upcoming bird-related events and programs.


Summer is quickly approaching. Enjoy warmer weather 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 Forest Preserves of Cook County is taking over Daley Plaza! Visit us from 10 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, June 11, for Live Healthy, Discover Nature a celebration
of all things Forest Preserves and chance to enjoy a variety of activities. We will
have live, local animals such as birds of prey and reptiles, and booths for partners from Audubon to the Zoo. At noon, a Facebook Live version of the Mike Nowak Show will include special guests, raffle prizes and a discussion of sustainability in our region.

Interested in hosting an event or program in the Forest Preserves of Cook County? We have a new process for accepting program partnership ideas and hearing from groups from all over Cook County who might be interested in partnering with the Forest Preserves on a program, activity, event or initiative.   Click here to learn more about the vision and needs of our program and public engagement team, and to provide information about your ideas for connecting people to nature.