Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Chicago Area Clean Cities, Forest Preserves of Cook County to Showcase Success of Alt-Fuel Lawn Mowers

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Special to

For Immediate Release

July 20, 2016

Chicago Area Clean Cities, Forest Preserves of Cook County to Showcase Success of Alt-Fuel Lawn Mowers

Workshop to highlight FPCC’s conversion of mowers, vehicles to propane power

LEMONT, Ill., July 20, 2016 – The Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition and the Forest Preserves of Cook County will host Picnic in the Park – a Workshop on Propane Vehicles and Mowers – at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center on Thursday, Aug. 4.

At the workshop, the Forest Preserves will highlight how it converted 32 gasoline-fueled large riding rotary mowers, as well as future plans to convert an additional 19 vehicles, pending a grant application to be accepted for the conversion to propane power. The conversion of the vehicles is a part of an ongoing effort to make the Forest Preserves’ operations as green and economical as possible.

“The Forest Preserves of Cook County is the largest forest preserve system in the nation,” said Tom Thompson, maintenance supervisor for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. “By converting our fleet to propane powered mowers, we have been successful in making them both environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient. This is a benefit to our community, the environment and a value to taxpayers.”

Most people already think of the Forest Preserves as being green. The Preserves’ nearly 70,000 acres account for the largest forest preserve district in the United States. However, maintaining all that green space requires a lot of vehicles and fuel. To mow the landscape areas in and around picnic groves and other recreational public spaces, the agency maintains a fleet of approximately 41 large riding rotary mowers (32 of which are now propane-fueled), 90 large tractors with flail mower attachments, 55 push mowers and 100 line trimmers, all in heavy use from April through October.

In 2013, the Forest Preserves began the conversion of its Gravely Pro-Turn 472 mowers to propane power, which has significantly lowered the environmental impact of its grove maintenance.

Shifting to propane has both environmental and economic benefits. Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), comes from both the refining of crude oil and processing of natural gas. It is nontoxic and water insoluble, making it much less likely to contaminate soil and water than gasoline. Unlike gasoline, propane is a liquid only when under high pressure (as in a tank), so any leaks evaporate and dissipate, preventing fuel from entering ground or surface water. Propane also burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 25 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent, as well as reducing emissions of other air pollutants.

“Propane has a high octane rating, making it an excellent choice for spark-ignited internal combustion engines,” said John Walton, vice chairman of Chicago Area Clean Cities and formerly the fleet manager for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. “It is a clean-burning, reliable domestic fuel that provides excellent performance in light-duty and medium-duty vehicles, as well as riding mowers like those used by the Forest Preserves.”

The fuel switch also has saved the Forest Preserves money. By converting to propane from unleaded gas in 32 mowers, the Forest Preserves has saved approximately $1.00 per gallon. The use of propane also extends engine life and reduces refueling time in the field. A federal conversion incentive cut the cost of conversion by $1,000 per mower, making each new mower $826 to convert.

To fuel the mowers, the Forest Preserves constructed 11 propane-fueling stations. The propane supplier, AmeriGas, paid for the entire cost of the propane tanks and related equipment.

The move towards propane in the Forest Preserves’ fleet has taken place in phases. The district has been using biodiesel fuel in all its diesel vehicles for more than 10 years and has been studying the costs and benefits of adding additional fuel-efficient vehicles.

The workshop will be held Aug. 4 at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St. Lemont, IL 60439. Representatives from Clean Cities, AmeriGas, and STAG Alternative Fuel Solutions will be available to demonstrate and showcase the benefits of using clean-burning propane fuel. To register, go to:

About the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Established in 1915, the Forest Preserves of Cook County is one of the oldest and largest forest preserve systems in the nation, maintaining nearly 70,000 acres of open land for the education, pleasure and recreation of the public. The agency strives to protect and restore the county's diverse ecosystems, so all our unique native plants and animals can live and thrive. Each year, millions of people use these lands and facilities to enjoy or study nature, bicycle, hike, fish, cross-country ski, picnic, golf, canoe, or simply relax in a large preserve that leaves urban life behind. For more information, visit

About Chicago Area Clean Cities

Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC) is a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting cleaner energy for transportation and automotive fleets in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. CACC is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country that are affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. CACC concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. To become involved or learn more about the coalition visit

Recent Headlines

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Cook County Rrecord

all news items

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