In This Issue

Friday, Aug 9-Saturday, Aug 10
Camp Reinberg - 1801 N Quentin Rd, Palatine
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. Registration required. Call 708-386-4042 or click here to email.

Tuesday, Aug 13 * 5:30-7 pm
Camp Reinberg - 1801 N Quentin Rd, Palatine
Free hands-on workshops for individuals and families, teaching basic camping skills. All ages; children 16 & under w/ adult. Topics include fire building, setting up a campsite, using a camp stove, dressing for the weather and camp etiquette.

Saturday, Aug 17 * 10 am-1 pm
Rolling Knolls - 11N260 Rohrssen Rd, Elgin
Say goodbye to summer with a day of adventure. Paddling, archery and more! In partnership with Hilltop Elementary School and other organizations. Instruction & gear provided. All ages.


Saturday, Aug 10 * 9:30 am-2 pm
Dam No. 1 Woods-East - Dundee Rd, east of Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling
Join our clean-up efforts as we paddle the river and learn about aquatic life and why it's important to keep our rivers clean. Tools provided. Ages 5 & up. Registration required, call 708-386-4042 x26.
Friday, Aug 16 * 6-8 pm
Camp Dan Beard - 200 Portwine Rd, Northbrook
Learn to make meals over a fire using cast-iron and basic camp cooking techniques. Ages 14 & up. Registration required, click here to email or call 708-386-4042.
Saturday, Aug 24 * 6-11 pm
Busse Lake Boating Center - E Higgins Rd/Rte 72, east of I-290/Hwy 53
Here's your chance to ride the Busse Woods trail at sunset, twilight, or in the dark! Admission includes live music, bonfires, snacks and more. Registration required. Click here for more.


Wednesday, Aug 7 * 4-6 pm
National Grove-South - Groveland Ave, north of 31st St, North Riverside
Learn proper technique and bow basics from one-on-one instruction with our certified staff. All equipment provided. Ages 10 & up.
Friday, Aug 9 * 3-7 pm
Thatcher Woods - Chicago Ave, west of Thatcher Ave, River Forest
Enjoy fun nature activities with a literary connection. Call 708-366-6530 to learn which libraries are participating and how to earn a free ticket to attend.
Friday, Aug 23 * 1-2:30 pm or 5:30-7 pm
Trailside Museum - 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest
Introductory class for new river kayakers. Technique and instruction provided prior to a short hands-on paddle along the Des Plaines River to Maywood Grove. Shuttle provided back to Trailside Museum. Registration required, call 312-533-5751.


Wednesday, Aug 14 * Noon-2 pm
Swallow Cliff-North - Calumet Sag Rd, west of La Grange Rd, Palos Hills
Drop in for a fun afternoon of nature discovery. We'll have an obstacle course, guided nature hikes, art making, kite flying and more.
Friday, Aug 16 * 7-9 pm
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center - 9800 Willow Springs Rd, Willow Springs
Enjoy a summer twilight paddle on our slough while enjoying a peek at the heavens. Tandem canoes provided. Ages 18 & up. Registration required, call 708-839-6897.
Saturday, Aug 17 * 8-11 am
Tampier Lake Boating Center - W 131st St, west of S Wolf Rd
Join the Village of Palos Park and the Forest Preserves for a family-fun day of fishing.
Hummingbird Fest
Saturday, Aug 17 * 9 am-2 pm
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center - 12545 W 111th St, Lemont
Join us for activities, viewing and demos of how the birds are banded for tracking and research purposes.

Saturday, Aug 17 * 10 am
St. Mihiel Woods - Central Ave, south of 167th St, Tinley Park
Get some exercise, meet new people and learn something about your local forest preserves.   

Wednesday, Aug 28 * 3-6 pm
Rubio Woods - W Midlothian Turnpike/W 143rd St, west of S Ridgeland Ave
Enjoy playing and exploring with natural materials.


Tuesday, Aug 6 * 8 am
Eggers Grove-E 112th St & S Ave E, Chicago
Explore Eggers Grove while searching for resident birds. Binoculars provided.
Saturday, Aug 10 * 8 am-Noon
Green Lake (park at Green Lake Aquatic Center lot) - 1100 River Oaks Dr, Calumet City
Join us for a fun day of fishing and learn about plants and animals that call Green Lake home. All ages. Fishing license required for ages 16 & up.
Wednesday, Aug 14 * 6:30 pm
Hayes Park - 2936 W 85th St, Chicago 
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.
Hike the Preserves:
Fitness Hike

Saturday, Aug 17 * 10 am
Joe Orr Woods-E Joe Orr Rd, east of S Halsted St, Chicago Heights
Get some exercise, meet new people and learn something about your local forest preserves. 

Wednesday, Aug 21 * 4-7 pm
Eggers Grove - E 112th St & S Ave E, Chicago
Learn proper technique and bow basics from one-on-one instruction with our certified staff. All equipment provided. Ages 10 & up.
Summer Bonfire
Saturday, Aug 24 * 6:30-10 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 evening hikes. We'll also have a food vendor on site.

For details and a full event listing including all regular events at our six Nature Centers, visit our Events page.
Look for new blue recycling canisters in forest preserves throughout the County
The Forest Preserves of Cook County is expanding our recycling program! New recycling canisters for aluminum cans and plastic water bottles are now at more than 100 popular Forest Preserves sites, and 100 more cans will be deployed soon. These new recycling canisters will help the Forest Preserves achieve our goal of reducing the amount of waste reaching the landfill and will keep litter out of our forest preserves. Check out the Forest Preserves' Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Plan to learn more about the FPCC's recycling program and sustainability goals.


by Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle

For many youth, having a summer job is a rite of passage. Summer jobs help kids in high school join the workforce and learn transferrable skills like time management, accountability, teamwork and more. The Forest Preserves of Cook County offer numerous ways for youth to learn these skills. Two programs include the Forest Preserve Experience and Youth Outdoor Ambassadors.
Thanks to a partnership between the Forest Preserves, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), Friends of the Forest Preserves and Forest Preserve Foundation, the Forest Preserve Experience offers a five-week, paid summer internship that introduces high school-aged residents from the HACC's Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs to work throughout the Forest Preserves.
During the summer, crew members work on conservation and restoration projects, and time is also devoted to learning about the local environment. Crew members have opportunities to participate in environmental enrichment activities, too.
The Youth Outdoor Ambassador (YOA) program prepares youth ages 16 through 20 to become the next generation of advocates, stewards and conservationists for the Forest Preserves. YOA participants help with land conservation and restoration, event planning and more.
Forest Preserves youth program participants not only learn invaluable job skills and about potential career paths related to the environment, they also learn the importance of caring for our natural lands. The future of the Forest Preserves depends on young people who become informed, enthusiastic advocates for nature and the local environment.

We hope to see you in your forest preserves!
Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County
After five weeks of ecological restoration work with their crew, outdoor activities from canoeing to "touch a turtle," and sessions on careers in the conservation field, the record-setting 112 participants in the Forest Preserve Experience graduated at a ceremony at Wampum Lake on July 26.
The Forest Preserve Experience is a summer program for high-school students whose families are in public housing or using vouchers from the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC). The participants removed buckthorn and other invasive species at Possum Hollow Woods, Sweet Woods, Jurgensen Woods, Wampum Lake, and Sauk Trail Woods.
"For many participants, this program is their first extended time out in nature and their first job. Those are wonderful doors to open for a young person, but it's more as well: It's an introduction to a possible career in conservation and environmental fields, a growing industry that includes environmental law, environmental advocacy, wildlife biology, forestry and more," said Forest Preserves General Superintendent Arnold Randall.
The number of participants in the Forest Preserve Experience has grown annually, and this year's selection process was especially competitive, with more than 400 youth submitting applications. The program is funded by HACC, the Forest Preserve Foundation, and the Forest Preserves, and Friends of the Forest Preserves provides the staff and administrative structure.
The Forest Preserve Experience is part of the Forest Preserves Conservation Corps, which has grown from a single program with 15 participants in 2005 to a collection of programs run by a variety of partners. Last year, more than 300 Conservation Corps participants across Cook County provided more than 70,000 service hours.

Check out this Daily Southtown article to learn more...
Dan Ryan Woods has been a popular location for family gatherings and a place to connect to nature on the South Side of Chicago for generations. On July 31, the Forest Preserves of Cook County and partners celebrated investments of more than $3.5 million in new amenities at the site since 2013.


The Forest Preserves launched a new website at in July. We hope this new website provides an improved experience and connects you with the information you need more quickly.
Some highlights include:
  • Designed to work on mobile devices and tablets.
  • Simplified navigation and improved search help visitors more easily find Things to Do and Places to Go.
  • Every Forest Preserves location and trail now has its own page. Each page features entrances, things to do, closure alerts, links to our interactive web map and more.
The launch of the new website is just a starting place. With this new platform we'll be able to add more content and build additional features that will help you better connect with the Forest Preserves. Please email us at with any questions, comments or ideas.
Enjoy one hour of free bike rental when you Bike the Preserves, brought to you by the Forest Preserves of Cook County! Enter code bikefpcc2019 in the HOPR app to have one free hour automatically applied to your account. One code per account, valid only during the 2019 season. Check the HOPR site or app for available bikes.

Ed Vrona, a World War II veteran and new member to the centenarian club, celebrated his induction by tackling Swallow Cliff Woods' iconic 100-foot bluff.
Currently residing in Florida, Ed grew up in Chicago and raised his family in Cicero. During winters, he would take the family to Swallow Cliff Woods, once home to toboggan slides. Later, he served as a Boy Scout troop leader and would lead nature excursions.
"[Ed] decided a few years ago to climb the steps each time he comes up from Florida," says John, Ed's son-in-law. "On his bucket list was to have four generations climb the steps with him." That goal was accomplished as Ed was joined by a family group of 13 on July 4 for the big day.
"We always have an excited feeling pulling into the parking lot," says Vicki, Ed's daughter. "It is amazing how many people use the stairs. Young and old, male and female from all ethnic backgrounds. It is a place of that brings out the best in people."

The August calendar photo of the month, "Northern Watersnake" by Mark Kasick, was taken at Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center. Did you know? Commonly found in and around standing water, the northern watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) is active during the day in spring and fall but becomes nocturnal during summer. Interested in learning more about native snakes? Plan a visit to one of the Forest Preserves' six nature centers! Naturalists are happy to answer questions, and most centers have live resident animal exhibits.

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.