Who We Are
Friends of the Forest Preserves is 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 thousands of committed volunteers and members. Through political advocacy, ecological restoration, and community outreach, we ensure the forest preserves will always be a source of recreation and relaxation.
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 restoration work while becoming advocates for the preserves. They gain vital leadership and teamwork skills that can be used in future careers in conservation and sustainability.
As an independent nonprofit organization, we work tirelessly to safeguard and improve the forest preserves for you and generations to come.