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The Forest Way
Forest Preserves of Cook County Newsletter

March 2023

A male and a female malled perched on a tree stump
Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), Photo by: Roberta Appleby
Although female mallards are a muted, mottled brown, they feature a stunning blue stripe on their wings, bordered with black and white feathers.

In this Issue:

  • The Power of Native Plants
  • Celebrating Women's History Month
  • Thank You Wild Things Community
  • Latest News: Join the Forest Preserves Police Force, Birdhouse Building Contest, Free Sustainability Lunch & Learn, Forest Preserve Foundation Awards Youth Conservation Corps Grants
  • Upcoming Events
  • Kick Off Earth Month with our Inaugural Trash Bash
A garden featuring native plants

The Power of Native Plants

As the snow melts and the days get longer, many Cook County residents are planning their home and community gardens.

Whether looking for colorful flowers, stately shrubs or dynamic grasses, gardeners should consider native plants! There are numerous benefits of using native plants for both people and nature. 

Learn more
A green background with white text reading "women in nature"

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Throughout March, the Forest Preserves of Cook County is celebrating Women’s History Month. Join us for programs and events to learn about the women who helped shape the environmental conservation movement.

And be sure to check out our social media channels throughout the month to learn about some of our employees and the ways they help Cook County residents through their diverse roles, stories from volunteers and how they began giving back to nature, and more. You can find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Learn more
Plenary session from the Wild Things 2023 Conference

To the Wild Things Community: Thank You!

Last month, the Forest Preserves was the presenting sponsor for the Wild Things Conference in Rosemont, where nature enthusiasts from across Illinois and beyond gathered to learn about the flora, fauna, and natural history of the Prairie State!

Our staff joined partners at the event and hosted presentations on topics ranging from bat research to supporting American kestrel populations, from seed sourcing strategies to protecting the nighttime environment.
If you missed the Wild Things Conference, consider checking out the website for a robust list of community resources to connect with others within the community, view past conference material, and more.

View resources

Latest News 

Become a Police Officer for the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Interested in serving your community? Want to start a career where you support local nature as well as people? The Forest Preserves’ Law Enforcement Department is seeking applicants for Police Officers. Check out our Jobs page to learn about this and other open positions and how to apply.
Learn more

This Contest is for the Birds!

Build a creative birdhouse this spring! Birdhouse entries will be placed along the trail at Trailside Museum of Natural History, and visitors can vote for their favorites through summer. Entries are accepted through May 25. The birdhouses will be on display from May 27 through September 1, and winners will be announced on September 1. 
Read more

Free Sustainability Lunch & Learn Webinar

The electric car has come of age and is no longer for the early adopter. Electric vehicles are a key component in the fight against climate change. Now, federal and state programs are making them a more accessible option for consumers. Join us on Wednesday, March 29, for a free Lunch & Learn webinar as we discuss the basics of electric vehicles, what tools and options consumers have to make the shift, as well as understanding the new tax rebates, incentives and other benefits.
Register for webinar

Forest Preserve Foundation Awards Grants for Youth Conservation Corps Programs

The Forest Preserve Foundation's board of directors voted during its February 3 meeting to award grants totaling $125,000 to the Forest Preserves of Cook County to support two Youth Conservation Corps Programs: $105,000 for the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps and $20,000 for the Forest Preserve Experience. These five-week paid summer programs engage high-school-aged youth in hands-on conservation work and education experiences. Youth work in teams to improve the health of the Preserves, while also gaining job skills and enjoying nature.
Learn more
A man holding binoculars to go birding

Upcoming Events

As days grow longer and signs of spring's imminent arrival begin appearing, Cook County residents will find an abundance of ways to enjoy the season in the Forest Preserves! Our Spring Guide is brimming with exciting events and programs. You can pick up a guide at any of our nature centersdownload a PDF off our website, or view our online schedule to learn about upcoming events and programs.

Learn more
A graphic of a turtle saying "don't be trashy" with text reading "Trash Bash!"

Kick Off Earth Month with our Inaugural Trash Bash

Get inspired to do some spring cleaning at home, and we’ll help keep the things you no longer need out of the landfill! You can also take part in a volunteer cleanup effort with your friends and family and put litter in its place. Bags, gloves and trash grabbers will be provided. Enjoy green giveaways and learn about other ways to get involved with volunteering in the forest preserves as well as how to live more sustainably.

Get involved
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