2012 Photo Contest Runner up: "Calumet Is My Backyard" student monitoring at Beaubien Woods near Chicago, Laura Milkert
2012 Photo Contest Runner up: "Calumet Is My Backyard" student monitoring at Beaubien Woods near Chicago, Laura Milkert

Advocate for the Preserves

Members started Friends of the Forest Preserves because the preserves were a train wreck. We’ve come a long way since 1998, but there’s still more to do to ensure the 69,000 acres of land are preserved and healthy for the next 100 years. We need activists like you to stand up and fight for our forest preserves!

Learn more about the issues we’re working on now by clicking the links below.

Separate the Forest Preserve and County Boards

Put simply, Friends of the Forest Preserves exists because the forest preserves need help. This is partly because the current system of governance is not serving the forest preserves well. Right now, even though the Forest Preserve District is a separate government agency and collects its own taxes, it is run by the same elected officials that run Cook County – the same board that oversees the 19th largest government in the United States, including the largest integrated court system and the second-largest public health system. Learn more about our plan for board separation.

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Salt Creek Trail Expansion

Phase two of the expansion has begun and will be completed in the fall of 2016! The Salt Creek Trail Expansion and Student Safety Project will improve student safety, encourage healthy living, and provide transportation choice by extending the Salt Creek Trail between North Riverside and Riverside-Brookfield High School (RBHS). Learn more about how you can advocate for better and safer trails along the Salt Creek.

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Quentin Road Expansion – Deer Grove Preserve Degradation

The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways wants to expand Quentin Road from a 2 lane road to a 5 lane highway, forever degrading Deer Grove Forest Preserve (the first one in the nation by the way). Learn more about what you can do to promote alternate solutions that will help preserve Deer Grove, while still solving the problem.

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Municipalities Fighting Passage of Vital Stormwater Policy

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is being bombarded by municipalities that want to dump stormwater in the preserves. Learn more about what you can do to stop pollution in the forest preserves.

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Congressman (then Commissioner) Mike Quigley, Friends President Benjamin Cox, Chicago Tribune Deputy Editorial Page Editor John McCormick, and Jeremy Hojnicki tour Whistler Woods in 2005. The group helped fend off a neighboring steel mill that was attempting to take land for expansion.