Community groups explore the natural side of the Juneteenth celebration in the preserves.

Young Professionals Association members and

guests enjoying the Spring Social at Moe's Cantina.

Americorps members construct a children's garden at

Crabtree Nature Center.

Save the Date!

August 1: Last day to dedicate a tree this fall

September 17: Conservation Cup Golf Benefit

                              Almost Sold Out!

September 20 - 27: 100 Years, 100 EventsCelebration at the Forest Preserves

September 26: Foundation Events at Thatcher Woods:

Beyond the Picnic Grove Family Food Event 11a - 2p;    

Oktoberfest in the Woods with the Young Professionals Association, 3p - 6p

Summer Newsletter

July 2015

Gifts to the Forest Preserve Foundation are in action this summer!

Because of Foundation donors, more communities are embracing the fun, educational, nature based opportunities offered by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Our work helps connect those who want to try camping, explore the life of insects and birds with naturalists, or simply stroll through the woods, with the guidance of experts in the field.

Read below to find out how Foundation donors make nature connections come alive at the forest preserves. If you find yourself inspired by these gifts of nature, please make your contribution

In the Spotlight: Young Professionals Association
The Young Professionals Association (YPA) of the Forest Preserve

Foundation made a splash at their 2nd annual Spring Social this
 June.  The event raised over $6,000 to support the Forest

Preserves’ Conservation Leadership Corps, the YPA’s priority

program, while bringing together their networks for a fun evening.

Ernie Wong, founding Principal and President at site design

group, ltd., inspired guests with his personal story of being a

Conservation Corps participant, and how that experience greatly

impacted in his life and career.Conservation Corps is a development

program that trains out-of-school youth in valuable conservation skills,

while accomplishing habitat restoration goals of the Forest Preserves.

The YPA plans to directits raised revenue with a grant to the Leadership Conservation Corps at the end of this year.

The YPA’s next social event – Oktoberfest in the Woods – will take place on Saturday, September 26,

3:00 – 6:00 pm at Thatcher Woods in River Forest. Guest will enjoy expert-led nature walks, a bonfire, locally brewed beer from our sponsor, Vice Brewing Company, and much more at this down-to-earth celebration.

Program Highlights

Americorps members find valuable summer work experience in the Preserves
With support from the Foundation, the Forest Preserves of Cook County hosted its first AmeriCorps National Civilian Conservation Corps (NCCC) team this summer. The 8-person crew provided more than 1900 hours of volunteer time – a value of more than $43,000, over the course of 6 weeks. NCCC members are young men and women, 18 to 24 years old, representing a wide variety of socio-economic, cultural, geographic, and education backgrounds.

NCCC members worked with Forest Preserve staff to restore natural areas by removing invasive plants, cutting brush, and herbicide treatment of invasive species.  The crew also helped visitors make long lasting connections with nature by assisting at special events and constructing a children’s garden at Crabtree Nature Center.
  Read more about the crew and their work in this Cook County Chronicle story.

Community groups connect to history at the Juneteenth celebration at

Sand Ridge Nature Center
With a grant from the Forest Preserve Foundation, Wild Indigo Nature Explorations organized a group of fifty participants from local community groups to learn how nature played a role in the Underground Railroad.  Children and adults took guided nature walks and learned about the (tasty) wild edibles, crafts, and music that played an integral role in slaves’ long journeys north. Members of the Riverdale Tree Commission, Little Smiles Big Dreams Kid’s Club, and Eden’s Place were among the participants in this family field trip to the Forest Preserves special event.

CSX Transportation grants $50,000 to support meaningful experiences in nature
For the third year in a row, the Forest Preserve Foundation has received funding from CSX Transportation to support meaningful outdoor experiences for families and youth. This year's generous support will help make camping and outdoor education more accessible to all communities through free and discounted family camping events, training, and gear rental.

Our youngest nature-loving philanthropists  support habitat restoration at Thatcher Woods
Preschoolers from Alcuin Montessori in Oak Park recently donated $200 to the Forest Preserve Foundation to support volunteer stewardship and restoration efforts at Thatcher Woods.   “The families in our classroom regularly meet [at Thatcher Woods] on weekends to hike and reconnect with nature…we [wanted] to do something that could benefit our beloved Thatcher Woods!” says Kelly Beumer, a parent at Alcuin. 

Foundation Executive Director, Shelley Davis, and Forest Preserve staff visited the class bearing gifts of outdoor activity kits to help families build upon their love and knowledge of nature.