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Hike it Baby – A Spooky Saturday on the Des Plaines River Trail

Posted: October 6th, 2017

11 am – 1 pm

Join us for our first Halloween-Hike it Baby-costume hike. Grab a comfortable costume and your hiking boots, and let’s explore. We will let the kids set the pace, and aim to hike out for 30-45 minutes, take a picnic break at the Fullerton Woods Family Picnic Area, and return to Sunset Grove Meadow.

We will meet in the parking lot of Sunset Bridge Meadow off of IL-64 North Avenue.

Des Plaines River Trail, Leyden Township
River Grove, IL 60171United States 
+ Google Map

Potential Baby or Child Hazard:

The trail can be busy with cyclists and runners so we will need to be on the look out for other users. The trail follows the Des Plaines River and is unpaved, crushed limestone. Late October can be chilly and/or wet. Be sure to dress for success. This event will go on rain or shine.

Gear Suggestion:

Please bring water and a picnic lunch (lunch optional…water not).

This event is free, but please register to help us plan for the day.

Questions? Contact Zach Taylor at Zach@fotfp.org.

8th Annual Photo Contest Exhibit

Posted: March 31st, 2017

Please join Friends to celebrate the beauty of the forest preserves as seen through the lenses of photographers in our community.

Friday, May 12th, 2017
6 PM – 8 PM
Franklin Framing
13019 S. Western Ave.
Blue Island, IL 60406

Refreshments will be served.

This event is free. Donations will be accepted at the door.
You can make a donation in lieu of attending, on our website.

To RSVP email ilana@fotfp.org or call (312) 356-9990

Swing for Sustainability 2017

Posted: January 24th, 2017

Join us for our annual Swing for Sustainability Open!

Reserve your spot today!
$150 individual / $600 foursome

At the Forest Preserves’ premier course:

George W. Dunne National Golf Course
16310 Central Ave., Oak Forest, Illinois 60452
Friday, June 9th, 2017
12:30 registration and range, 2 pm shotgun start, best ball

Reserve your spot today!
$150 individual / $600 foursome

Ticket includes:

  • Greens fees
  • Range balls
  • Lunch
  • On-the-course drinks
  • Open-bar reception
  • Dinner with awards

Sponsorship Opportunities

Drink Cart Sponsor – $1,250

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on the drink cart day-of
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Long Drive Sponsor – $1,000

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage at one hole on the course
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Closest-to-the-Pin Sponsor – $1,000

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage at one hole on the course
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Hole-in-One Sponsor – $750

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage on hole 17
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Dinner Sponsor – $500

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Hole Sponsor – $500

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage at one hole on the course
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Golf Ball Sponsor – $350

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Lunch Sponsor – $250

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Skill Prize Sponsor – $250

  • Recognition, including logo placement in all promotional materials and on day-of signage
  • Day-of verbal recognition

Please contact Ilana Federman at ilana@fotfp.org with questions or to become a sponsor.

All proceeds support Friends’ work to make the forest preserves better for you and generations to come!

Thank you to our sponsors:

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kleeslogo copyMorgan Stanley_Logo-13p0_KWest Monroe Logo_jpeg
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pendo website logoPalmer Logo

Busse Woods Night Ride 2017

Posted: January 24th, 2017

6:00PM – 11:00PM

The 3rd Annual Busse Woods Night Ride is bigger and better than ever!

Please join us for your one chance to ride through the forest preserves at night.

Busse Woods, Elk Grove, Illinois

New this year! Historical Wave, taking you to places of cultural and geographical significance. Led by Elk Grove expert Michael Stachnik, Program Director at the Elk Grove Historical Museum.  Leaves from the boathouse at 6pm and lasts approximately 1.5 hours.

Back by popular demand! Sunset Wave, leaves from the boathouse at 6:30pm and lasts approximately 1 hour.

Expanded this year! We are excited to offer two extended waves this year that take you on a 12- mile journey and lasts approximately 1.5 hours each.

All other regular waves are 8 miles and last approximately 1 hour.

With 15 waves to choose from, there’s something for everyone!

All riders will receive a special gift when you check in at the event. All attendees 21+ will receive two free beers courtesy of Church Street Brewing Company. And all participants will enjoy live music by The Jeff Parker Duo, live animal display, bonfires, s’mores, tacos by Pollo Negro (for purchase) and your one chance to be in the preserves after sunset!

Tickets are $40 (all waves except Historical and Extended)
Historical and Extended Waves are $45
Youth Rider (12-20) $20

Adult Spectator (21+) $15
Youth Spectator (5-20) $5
Age 4 and under free!

For safety and convenience, no trailers or tagalongs are allowed. All riders must have a helmet. All riders must have a front light attached to their bike or helmet. Lights will be available for purchase at the event.

Register Now! (To register, you must choose a ticket price AND specify the wave you want.)

Wave 1: 6:00-7:30 Historical Wave
Wave 2: 6:30-7:30 Sunset Wave
Wave 3: 7:00-8:00
Wave 4: 7:10-8:10
Wave 5: 7:20-8:20
Wave 6: 7:30-9:00 Extended Wave
Wave 7: 7:40-8:40
Wave 8: 7:50-8:50
Wave 9: 8:00-9:30 Extended Wave
Wave 10: 8:10-9:10
Wave 11: 8:20-9:20
Wave 12: 8:30-9:30
Wave 13: 8:40-9:40
Wave 14: 8:50-9:50
Wave 15: 9:00-10:00

In partnership with:

FCEG_Final_Logo_Large_Color FPCC Logo


Thank you to our wave sponsors:

Komatsu_logo  HomeAdvisorLogo 

HMH Logo

Thank you to our in-kind sponsors:

Church Street Museumlogo.sm

7MC_black RESIZE

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ilana Federman at 312-356-9990 or ilana@fotfp.org.

Beer in the Woods

Posted: January 24th, 2017

1pm – 5pm

Tickets are now available!

Please join Friends of the Forest Preserves for our first ever Beer in the Woods event, a fundraiser featuring craft beer and cider. Come sip beer in LaBagh Woods, a haven for nature enthusiasts, on the north side of Chicago. Also enjoy a rare beer tent with rotating beers, live music, live animal displays, bird walks, home brewing demonstrations, and more! All proceeds will be used for Friends’ advocacy, Conservation Corps, and community building initiatives.

Buy your tickets now through Eventbrite!

Some of our participating breweries:

Goose-Island-LogoRed-LogoCMYKMiskatonic Combo 3
Virtue CiderFlossmoor logoBand of Bohemia JPG Logo
SOB-logo_large-page-001begyle_hop_logoOdell_Logo_Leaf wFortCollins_2Color (2) (1)
HTHLogo_SixPoint_RedPrairiekrafts LogoFR stacked brown
BurntCity_logoRavinia_full_logo_negativeBlueblood Brewing
OldIrvingBrewing_325-2 color®_One_Trick_Pony_Legal.Pad_6.2014Dovetail_Brandmark_RGB_1000
cahootslogoHalf AcreLogo Revised
Uinta-logo_Full-Red(1)mb_arthead_left_blackPW Final Logo invert

Participating food trucks:

Donermen_logo best versionBoo Coo Roux  

Music by:

Cloud of Shame logo


Big Run Wolf Ranch

FrogLady Presentations


Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab & Education

REI Co-op

Washtenaw Hops

Thank you to our generous VIP Pavilion Sponsor:

Thank you to our remarkable Event Sponsors:

logostantec (1)Burke

Somme Winter Solstice Bonfire & Celebration

Posted: December 1st, 2016

This annual tradition in the woods will include a GIANT bonfire and a bagpiper!

Please bring snacks to share.

Festivities start at 2pm at Somme Woods East and is completely FREE!

See map.

Contact Josh Coles at josh@fotfp.org for more information.

Birds and Bikes on the Major Taylor Trail

Posted: October 10th, 2016

Join us for a FREE guided bike ride from the oak woodlands of Dan Ryan Forest Preserve to the riverside savanna of Whistler Forest Preserve as we search for birds! Look for ducks as we cross the Little Calumet River or we might spot a Bald Eagle!

Meet at the 83rd St. parking lot in Dan Ryan Forest Preserve. The lot is on the north side of 83rd Street, just east of Western Ave.

Total biking distance is about 15.5 miles on a flat paved trail. Bring your own binoculars, water and a snack.

Attendance is limited to 25 riders, so register today!

Click Here to register.

This event is presented in partnership with Friends of the Forest Preserves, Friends of the Major Taylor Trail, Audubon Great Lakes, and The Field Museum.




Crystal Leaf Awards

Posted: June 2nd, 2016

6pm – 8pmcrystalleaf_logo
BUY TICKETS – Just $50!

Join our Friends community for the Crystal Leaf Awards Reception 2016 as we honor two of our founding members: Debra Shore, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner and Stephen Packard, conservationist. Mr. Packard and Ms. Shore have worked tirelessly to improve the forest preserves in Cook County while mentoring many in our community to be environmental stewards.

This will be a night of celebration and community engagement. Ticket price includes two drinks, appetizers, live band, and raptor display. For an additional donation, try your luck at a silent auction, raffles, and games.

You will also be the first to see our new video!

Help our community reach our year-end fundraising goals and celebrate our honorees, our community, and our achievements in 2016! Tickets are just $50! Click here to buy tickets or to be a donor.

This event will be held at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan. Ave. See map.

BUY TICKETS – Just $50!

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters:


Busse Woods Night Ride 2016

Posted: March 22nd, 2016

Join Friends of the Forest Preserves and Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove for the second annual after-dark bike ride through Busse Woods! Explore the expansive preserve by bike, winding through meadows, woods, and along the shore of the 640-acre lake. All riders will receive a reflective ankle wrap and a bike bell. All adult ticket holders will also receive two craft beers from our generous sponsor, Lagunitas. Live music by Serendipity, 3 bonfires and snacks are included with your registration. S’mores and made-to-order tacos will be available for an additional fee. This is your one chance to explore the forest preserves at night, so don’t miss out!

Based on your feedback, this year we have added a Sunset Ride, departing at 7:00 pm to enjoy sundown at 7:08 in the heart of Busse Woods. We have also added an Extended Ride of 16 miles and running approximately 2 hours.

The Night Ride has capacity for 250 participants who will cycle in 15 waves of no more than 18 riders each. You must be 12 or older to ride. Each wave is approximately 8 miles in length and takes approximately 1 hour to complete, unless otherwise noted. In order to select the time and style of ride that best suits your needs, please register early.  

If you can’t ride but want to enjoy the event, you can purchase a spectator ticket.


  • Early Bird Registration: $35 per adult rider until August 21, 2016 ($40 after)
  • Extended Ride Registration: $45 per adult (there is no early bird price for this ride)
  • Youth Rider (12-20): $20
  • Adult Spectator Ticket: $15 (21yrs and older) includes two craft beers
  • Youth Spectator Ticket: $5 (5yrs-20yrs)
  • Children 4 and younger are free

In the case of bad weather, the event will not be rescheduled. There are no refunds or cancellations.

All riders must wear a helmet and all bikes must have a headlight. Headlights are available for purchase online for $15 and will be sold at the event.

All riders should gather at the departure point at least 10 minutes before your wave begins.

When: Saturday, September 10, 2016 – 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm. First wave begins at 7:00 pm.

Where: Near Busse Lake Boating Center, Busse Woods, Higgins and IL 53, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

View the course map!

If you have questions or would like to support this event as a sponsor, please contact Ilana at ilana@fotfp.org or (312) 356-9990.

This is a fundraiser. All proceeds go to Friends of the Forest Preserves and Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove.

In partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

FPCC logo

Thank you to our sponsors!

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AMITA logo

ALS logo

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