Friends of the Forest Preserves Logo

Friends of the Forest Preserves is a Chicago, IL based non-profit that "exists because the Cook County forest preserves need help."

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Living in a city can be hard when you love nature and the outdoors, but there’s usually a way to get a fix. Here in Chicago we have Lake Michigan and Forest Preserves. The forest preserves are run by the county government and they exist “to acquire, restore and manage lands for the purpose of protecting and preserving public open space.” In Cook County that amounts to more than 68,000 acres (11% of the county’s land mass) that get about 40 million visits every year. Friends of the Forest Preserves is a Chicago, IL based non-profit that was started when a group of people saw the forest preserves being mismanaged and organized “to rescue these treasured lands, knowing that to maintain their vast rewards and ensure they’re here for all of us to enjoy, we’d have to work just as hard as the visionary citizens who protected them more than a century ago.”

Be a Friend

My wedding was at one of the gems of the Cook County Forest Preserves–the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Garden is on Forest Preserve property, but it’s run by an independent non-profit. That’s part of the reason that it’s so great. Forest preserves seem to do best when they have a non-profit partner, and that’s why Friends of the Forest Preserves is so important for Cook County residents. The organization focuses in two areas: political advocacy and restoration. In other words, they push political decision-makers to make the right decisions regarding the preserves, and when that’s enough, they roll up their sleeves and do the work themselves (or hire someone to do it). If this sounds like an organization that you’d like to be involved with, check out Friends of the Forest Preserves’ Careers page. Right now they’re looking for a Development & Communications Coordinator.

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