The Forest Way
Forest Preserves of Cook County Newsletter

May 2020

Golden-winged Warbler
Photo of the Month: Golden-winged Warbler, Photo by Timothy Minnick
Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) populations have declined by as much as 68 percent since 1966, due to habitat loss and hybridization through interbreeding with the blue-winged warbler.
In this Issue:
- Enjoy Springtime in Nature Safely
- ICYMI: Earth Day Week Celebration
- View Spring Wildflowers & More in Your Neighborhood
- Latest News

Enjoy Springtime in Nature Safely

From President Toni Preckwinkle

Signs of spring are sprouting throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Wildflowers are blooming, tree buds are bursting, migratory birds are making their way back north, and temperatures are getting warmer.
Understandably, with rising temperature comes increased temptation to head outside and enjoy the season, but it is critical that we stay the course on practicing public health guidelines. As I’ve stated before, it is our collective responsibility to follow the rules that help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep us healthy and safe.
If you’re planning a peaceful walk to view the spring ephemerals or heading out for a quick run on trails, please wear a mask or face covering. Remember to stay at least six feet away from anyone who does not live in your household, and let others know when you’re passing them on a trail. And though sunshine may have you dreaming of a picnic or cookout, do not congregate in groups until public health officials have determined it is safe.
This spring will be much different than any we’ve experienced before, but there are still ways to enjoy the season safely. Check out the Forest Preserves and nature center Facebook pages for natural fun activities to enjoy at home or in your neighborhoods. Forest Preserves naturalists and programming teams are also hosting numerous Facebook Live programs on topics ranging from backyard birding to native herps to setting up a rain barrel.
If you still choose to visit the Forest Preserves for fresh air and mental and physical wellness, you must follow the rules. Be sure to also check our COVID-19 page for a full list of precautions and the latest information on closures and cancellations.

Visit COVID-19 Page
Celebrating Earth Day 50 graphic

ICYMI: Check Out Our Earth Day Week Celebration

From April 20-24, the Forest Preserves of Cook County celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Throughout the week, we shared posts, videos and hosted Facebook Live programs featuring ways you can integrate sustainability at home and in your communities, and highlighted native species that depend on Forest Preserves healthy, thriving habitats. If you missed it, check out our round up.

Read more
White Trout Lily

View Spring Wildflowers & More in Your Neighborhood

Chicagoland is home to numerous species of native wildflowers, flowering shrubs and small trees. Each spring, these plants put on a bright, colorful show, signaling to people that warmer days are on the way.
Early-blooming plants serve a crucial role in the ecosystem, providing unique and important habitat for native pollinators and other insects. These insects then become important sources of nourishment for migratory birds.

Read more

Latest News 

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day

Join the Forest Preserves of Cook County and partners on Saturday, May 9, for a virtual birding festival! “Attendees” will learn about the journeys of migratory birds, how we study them, examine the threats they face along the way, and what we can do in our own communities and at home to protect them.
"Attend" the Festival
Know Before You Go: Check for Parking Lot Closures
Due to COVID-19 concerns about overcrowding and social distancing, parking lots at Busse Woods, Bunker Hill, Saganashkee Slough, Maple Lake, Catherine Chevalier Woods, LaBagh Woods, Irene Hernandez Picnic Grove, Pulaski Woods and Wolf Road Woods are closed Fridays through Sundays, and other sites have been closed as well. If you want to get out, use our interactive web map to discover a new preserve to explore.
Learn More
Most Forest Preserves Golf Courses Now Open
Following new guidelines from the State of Illinois, most of our golf courses are now operating within strict public health limitations.
Learn more
There's Still Time to Complete 2020 Census
Help your community get its fair share of federal funding and services. Lost census mail? No problem! You just need your home address to complete your census by phone or online. 
Complete the Census
50 Days of Chicago Nature
Featuring local plants, animals and landscapes, the 50 Days of Chicago Nature campaign is working to highlight the world-class nature found in Cook County and the Chicago region. Join in by following @NatureLovesChi on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Learn more
Copyright © 2020 Forest Preserves of Cook County, All rights reserved.

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