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REI has awarded the Forest Preserve Foundation a grant that will go for the Palos Trail System

Friday, October 28, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

October 2016
DONOR SPOTLIGHT
REI awards Foundation $20,000 grant
to support Palos Trail signage

REI has awarded the Forest Preserve Foundation a $20,000 grant that will go toward fabricating and installing signage in the Palos Trail System.
The 15,000-acre Palos Preserve complex in southwest Cook County can sometimes be a challenge to navigate, with its more than 40 miles of intersecting trails. A new signage system will make exploring the vast preserve bit easier, better orient trail users and increase a feeling of security.
Palos Preserves are the District’s largest preserve and holds some of the highest quality natural areas in the county. The trails connect with many popular sites such as Little Red School House Nature Center, Camp Bullfrog and Maple Lake.
"Trails are important to members of the REI Co-Op,”Theresa Salus, REI Outdoor Program Manager-Chicago, said in announcing the award. “We bike, hike, run and explore on trails. It was important to support the new trail signs at Palos to ensure that people can navigate the trails, know where they are in order to explore more, and also know where they are in case of an emergency. We invite everyone to come and walk, hike, and ride these trails and Opt Outside this Black Friday with all of us here at the Co-op."
A nationwide consumers’ co-operative, REI sells outdoor recreation services and equipment, and provides grants to nonprofits that care for outdoor places.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT
'Forest Preserve Experience gets youth outside'
Forest Preserve Experience
“Forest Preserve Experience,” a four-week youth employment program, mobilizes high school youth from Cook County’s low-income communities to mulch trees, clean up lakes and remove invasive plants from the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Students get access to environmental education, gain basic jobs skills and learn why healthy Forest Preserves are important to their community and quality of life.
This summer’s program engaged106 youthin hands-on service to the Forest Preserves. While a typical youth employment program has a 60 percent to 70 percent retention rate, FP Experience boasts an89 percent retention rate.
Hands-on activities included410service hours of lake and river clean-up,1,875service hours of invasive species removal, and266service hours of tree mulching and planting for a total of7,015 conservation service hours to the Forest Preserves.
“Now more than ever, youth are spending less time outside in nature despite the many benefits to their physical and emotional health," said Alice Brandon, resource programming manager for the Forest Preserves. "All people need nature, and our Forest Preserve Experience gets youth outside for a fun and rewarding summer of team work while also learning important basic work skills that will benefit their future careers. Many youth tell me afterward that it was their best summer ever. I want that experience for each and every youth in Cook County. I hope we can continue this program into the future.”
The Experience program is a partnership between Friends of the Forest Preserve and the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Foundation provided support for data compilation and analysis of the program’s impact.
Conservation Cup: Five years of expanding the mission
Conservation Cup Host Committee

Conservation Cup Committee with Foundation board members
and General Superintendent Arnold Randall

Nearly 2oo golfers joined us on Sept. 15 for theFoundation’s 5thAnnual Conservation Cup Golf Outing, during which we raised $175,000 to support promotion and awareness of the Preserves. County officials, corporate executives, board members and Foundation boasters were among those who participated in the daylong event, which ended with a reception and program followed by prize presentations and a live auction and raffle. To view a photo galley from the day, clickhere.
This fifth milestone year is especially meaningful. As the Foundation implements its new strategic plan, introduces a new logo (see below) and solidifies its role as a strong and thriving partner to the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the success of this year's Cup helps assure its long-term impact.
Many of Chicago’s major corporations stepped up to underwrite the event. BMO Harris Bank was the Executive Sponsor. CSX and J.P. Morgan were Title Sponsors, and BP the Tent Sponsor.
“J.P. Morgan was proud to support the Conservation Cup efforts in raising funds to help a worthy cause” saidMark Lester,Executive Director of Government Banking Group at J.P. Morgan. “This is our 5th year supporting the Foundation Cup; it is always a great day filled with golf and a sense of commitment and energy from the participants and staff to help fulfill the mission of the Forest Preserve Foundation.”
Read Foundation president Shelley A. Davis'commentary in the Chicago Tribune, in which she writes about the focusing and calming effects of spending time in nature.
Foundation emphasizes optimism with new logo

On the same day as the Conservation Cup, the Foundation unveiled its new brand identity in the form of a redesigned logo that signifies the Foundation's role in increasing access to the Preserves and deepening the awareness of their significance.
“The redesigned logo aligns with our new strategic plan, which includes moving boldly iForest Preserve logonto the future, increasing our visibility and to continuing to invest in priority programs of the Forest Preserves of Cook County as we increase our leadership and resources," saidShelley A. Davis,Foundation president.
Evoking the trees and green spaces that make up the Forest Preserves of Cook County and incorporating the Foundation’s initials, the new logo offers a fresh and streamlined visual identity that serves as an instant reminder of the Foundation’s purpose, board members said in choosing the redesign. A creative team fromLeo Burnett Chicagoconceived the new logo, and the Foundation’s Board of Directors approved the design during their July retreat.
You can support the Forest Preserve Foundation every time you make a purchase on Amazon. Click on the image to put your purchases to work today.


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