Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Environmentalists opposed to Cook County forest district-Hinsdale land lease proposal

Sunday, October 04, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Gerry Smith

The noisy, overgrown sliver of land hardly looks worth fighting over.

But environmentalists say a proposed lease of
Cook County Forest Preserve District property to west suburban Hinsdale would set a precedent by violating an ordinance aimed at preserving and conserving land with limited recreational use.

"As soon as you give this to them, every village in the county is going to come asking for land," said Benjamin Cox, executive director of Friends of the Forest Preserves.

But proponents say the deal would allow Hinsdale to restore Duncan Field, which they say has largely been ignored after being separated from Bemis Woods by the Tri-State Tollway. The property, about 30 acres northwest of the Tri-State and Ogden Avenue, has been overgrown with invasive species, they say.

"This is about enhancing and restoring a forgotten and displaced piece of land," said Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman. Hinsdale, she said, "would bring it back to the pristine forest preserve that it should be."

The issue is set to be decided at a Forest Preserve District board meeting on Wednesday.

For nearly three decades, Hinsdale has leased part of the property from the district to use for athletic fields. The proposed deal calls for a 30-year lease in which the village would spend $2 million restoring the land, improving the baseball field and building two soccer fields, a restroom facility and a trail.

Hinsdale is not the first town to encounter obstacles when eyeing forest preserve land. A few years ago, Wheeling sought approval to build a detention pond on a small parcel of forest preserve land, hoping to free up hotel property for other uses, including additional parking.

After the plan was rejected, Wheeling officials proposed adding trails, a gravel parking lot and native prairie plantings, but that plan stalled while the district studied whether the property is home to an endangered snake species. Wheeling and district officials are still in negotiations, according to village planner Andrew Jennings.

At a Sept. 2 committee meeting, district staff opposed the Hinsdale plan, arguing it "is not acceptable under our land-use guidelines," said district spokesman Steve Mayberry. But Cook County commissioners voted to move forward with negotiations.

Commissioner
Jerry Butler said he voted against the deal because of questions raised by environmental groups.

"The forest preserve is supposed to be what it is, for protecting the flora and fauna," he said.

Since then, Hinsdale officials have sought to address the commissioners' concerns, stating they have no plans to install retention ponds, lighting or fencing and promising to pay the cost of replacing vegetation.

Environmental groups -- including the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, Openlands, Friends of the Forest Preserves and Friends of the Parks -- are planning to hold a protest before Wednesday's board meeting. Cox said they would remain opposed to the deal because it would give control of the property "to an entity other than the Forest Preserve District."

"It is a land transfer, plain and simple," he said.

gfsmith@tribune.com


Recent Headlines

Working together to ensure that land, water, and life will always thrive in the forest preserves in Cook County.
Wednesday, July 06, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

For the Love Of Water (FLOW) is a summary of news from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Tuesday, July 05, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

First mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus reported in Cook County
Sunday, July 03, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Forest Preserves of Cook County presents family fun at Kids’ Fest in Thornton
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Chicago Tribune

‘Check your check’: Minimum wage increases Friday in Chicago and Cook County
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

First Graduates of Cook County Restorative Justice Program Recognized
Thursday, June 30, 2022
WTTW News

Illinois getting nearly 4,500 doses of monkeypox vaccine from national stockpile
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Cook County restorative justice program offers 2nd chance for young, non-violent offenders
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
ABC Local

Protect endangered species from overuse of deadly ‘neonic’ pesticides
Sunday, June 26, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Public Health Officials Announce First Presumptive Case of Monkeypox
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

Illinois child welfare officials defend leaving kids in jail after release
Friday, June 24, 2022
WBEZ News

Cook County rescued popular restaurant from tax sale, then hosted an event there
Friday, June 24, 2022

Cook County Officials Unveil Rosy 2023 Budget Outlook
Friday, June 24, 2022
WTTW News

Trailblazers Program Empowers Volunteers
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

Preckwinkle forecasts county’s smallest budget gap in a decade, no new taxes or fees planned
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Cook County's nonexistent residency policy
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County invests $925,000 in COVID-19 stimulus money to bolster south suburban metals, machinery and equipment manufacturers
Sunday, June 19, 2022
Daily Southtown

COVID-19 risk in Chicago, Cook County improves to ‘medium’
Friday, June 17, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Man found beaten to death inside Cook County Jail cell: autopsy
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County unveils new flag designed by high school student and inspired by 1893 World’s Fair goddess statue
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP