PURPOSETo acquire, restore, restock and manage lands for the purpose of protecting and preserving natural communities including, prairies, forests, wetlands, rivers, streams, and all their associated flora and fauna for the purpose of providing educational, leisure and outdoor recreation opportunities for Cook County residents now and in the future.
MANDATESCook County Forest Preserve District Act (Illinois Statute, 1913), 70 ILCS 810/7: Acquire land to preserve and protect public open-space. Restore and manage native habitats to maintain plant and animal diversity and ecological health. Provide environmental education programs for families, individuals, students, and youth groups. Offer compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for public enjoyment. Manage operations using best practices to ensure the most efficient, effective and transparent use of public funds.
PROGRAMS AND KEY ACTIVITIESThe District provides Cook County residents:
NatureNearly 69,000-acres of natural areas and Open Space; Biologically diverse, rare native forests, woodlands, savannas, prairies and wetlands; and 22 dedicated nature preserves.
Environmental EducationSix (6) nature centers (offering education programs for all ages, interpretive trails and exhibits), one (1) wildlife research facility.
Outdoor Recreation311 picnic groves, 40 managed lakes and ponds, two (2) youth camps, seven (7) major waterways, three (3) aquatic centers, 10 golf facilities, 300 miles of marked trails. Please click below to be redirected to the Forest Preserves website.
Arnold Randall, General Superintendent