Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



How does Des Plaines seniors' garden grow? On public land
Neighbor's complaint leads Cook County Forest Preserve District to say pair are encroaching

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Daily Herald
by Madhu Krishnamurthy

Tending to a communal garden for 15 years takes a lot of time, sweat and money.

Just ask Des Plaines residents Irma Lehmann and Peggy Losik, who had been planting native flowers and bushes along a 40-yard stretch of their Mill Run condominium complex's eastern property line.

That's until this spring when the two elderly women realized their actions to improve their surroundings constituted encroachment of what is actually Cook County Forest Preserve District land.

"Every day we are looking for a summons in our mailbox," said Losik, a registered nurse.

Where once invasive plants such as poison ivy and garlic mustard crept, the women helped cultivate native species such as coneflowers, wild phlox, black-eyed Susan, and joe-pye weed. They replaced the harsh soil with plant friendly dirt and added mulch.

"I think the forest preserve should be very happy with that," said Lehmann, who is retired. "We cleaned out the poison ivy. We hope we can keep going to maintain the garden."

Losik said once the land was cleared many of the native plants came up on their own. "Before we started this, we had no birds or butterflies," she added.

Initially, the women began planting along the edge of the complex parking lot and moved further inward after major flooding in 2008 swelled the Des Plaines River, engulfing a ravine-like area just east of their stretch of garden.

The women also cleaned up debris after the flooding and rid the area of discarded tires and trash.

"They (the forest preserve) were never going to come or do anything about this so why couldn't we clean it up," Losik said. "It was never from day one clear to us where our property ends and theirs began. Sometimes in the summer, the weeds would be as tall as me - five foot, one inch."

Yet, a complaint from a neighbor to the county has effectively put an end to their gardening activities, said Cook County Forest Preserve District Spokesman Steve Mayberry.

The women won't be cited for violating forest preserve rules, he said, nor will they have to pay a fine. But they will have to cease all gardening operations.

"We can't allow them to keep doing this," Mayberry said. "You cannot encroach on forest preserve land. We can't say it's OK in one place and somehow not OK in others. We are simply enforcing the ordinances, and have been thoughtful about how we approach this."

In the grand scheme of things, what these women did, though a violation of forest preserve district policies, was not egregious.

"If what you want to do is to keep an area clean," he said, "that is something that we will work with you. We honestly believe they thought they were doing the right thing. We would love to see them join our Preserve Keepers Corps."

The volunteer corps is the umbrella group under which more than 9,000 forest preserve volunteers perform a variety of activities, he said.

As for the existing plants in the garden, they can stay as long as they are native, Mayberry said.

"It would be left as is," he said.

Forest preserve district staff will be surveying the area to determine what's native and what's not, he added.

"It's incumbent upon us to make sure that there's no new nonnative species being introduced," Mayberry said.

So far, no one from the forest preserve district has contacted the women personally about quitting their gardening. "We just decided that we probably better wait," Losik said. "It was never our intention to harm anything. We would like to be able to continue what we're doing."



Recent Headlines

Re: Property Taxes IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Women Prisoners in Cook County Jail Curate Global Film Festival
Thursday, April 18, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chairís Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

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