Who We Are
Friends of the Forest Preserves is the only independent non-profit organization solely focused on the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Mission: We are the voice of a diverse community inspiring and organizing people to protect, restore, and expand the forest preserves in Cook County. Founded in 1998 by a small group of concerned citizens, Friends is now a force of more than 2,000 members and thousands of committed volunteers and forest preserve users. Through political advocacy, ecological stewardship, and community engagement, we ensure the forest preserves will always be a source of education, enjoyment, and recreation for us and future generations.
We’re most proud of our award-winning Conservation Corps programs for high school students and young adults, often from low-income neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago. Conservation Corps members contribute hours of ecological stewardship while becoming advocates for the preserves. They gain vital leadership and teamwork skills that can be used in future careers in conservation or any career.
As an independent nonprofit organization, we work tirelessly to safeguard and improve the forest preserves for you and generations to come.