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  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Nature does the inviting. We just bring the guests.

Thursday, April 16, 2020
Special to suffredin.org
by Shelley A. Davis

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More than ever, nature invites us to take notice.

Forest Preserve Foundation staff are finding ways to stay connected to the natural world while practicing physical distancing. Here, they reflect on their experiences during the COVID pandemic.

Natural discoveries

"My son and I dawn our masks and walk the park and catch up during the day. We walk for at least a half hour, so he can log his physical education activity for school. We watch the trees for signs of progression toward a warmer spring. Sometimes we see native animals in our neighborhood such as an Eastern gray squirrel or Eastern cottontail rabbit emerging from the bushes. And in the mornings, I hear a downy woodpecker working outside my window."

— Shelley Davis, President

Hitting the nature trails

"I was expecting a rough ride through busy roads and suburban sprawl. There were a few busy roads, but I was surprised by how much of our route followed nature trails. We rode along the Des Plaines River through Cermak Woods, enjoying a smooth ride on the paved trail. Then we went through the Palos Preserves, the largest Preserves system in Cook County. There, we stopped to fool around on one of the many unpaved mountain bike trails through the heart of Palos."

— Sam Davis, Development Associate

Walking the neighborhood

"More than any other physical activity, walking gives you a chance to see a lot you can’t from a car or a bicycle. The soft petals of a flower or its delicate stamen. A budding tree. The patterns in a shadow on the side of a building. Or your own shadow.

On recent walks, I’ve taken closer looks at the barks of trees, the shape of trunks, the budding leaves. I note what people have dropped, accidentally or on purpose."

— Cassandra West, Communications manager

Read the full blog post

SAFETY FIRST

Be safe, everyone. Spend some time in nature. It’s good for your physical and mental health. Be sure to practice physical distancing.

If you want to visit the Preserves, check the website to get the latest updates.

GRANT UPDATE

Last year the Forest Preserve Foundation received a grant from REI, the outdoor equipment retail chain, to enhance trails in the Palos area. In late February volunteers, many with the Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBr) group, spent a morning fulfilling the grant requirements.

“REI is very interested in recreation and getting people outdoors,” said Rebecca Colling, a senior ecologist for the Preserves, told the volunteers. “So you’re out helping us meet our grant requirements today. So thank you.”

Read more here.

Support the Foundation

Through Facebook, Sam quickly and easily raised funds that will go to support the Foundation's priorities: next-generational environmental advocates, ecological restoration and family programming. If you want to support the Foundation's work, consider a Facebook birthday fundraiser.

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Forest Preserve Foundation

69 W. Washington Chicago, IL 60602



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