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Trailblazers Program Empowers Volunteers

Thursday, June 23, 2022
Special to suffredin.org
by Friends of the Forest Preserves

Working to ensure that land, water, and life will always thrive in the forest preserves in Cook County.

A group walk at Swallow Cliff Woods

Bruce (far left) is a Trailblazers volunteer guide. He loves the outdoors and has explored all 62 National Parks across the US! Bruce led a hike at Swallow Cliff Woods to share his favorite aspects of this site.

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Trailblazers Program Empowers Volunteers

to Share Their Favorite Preserves

The Trailblazers program is a new opportunity for volunteers to promote their favorite preserves by serving as guides on themed walks and hikes. Each event is a chance to meet fellow nature enthusiasts and learn about the outdoors in a unique way - blazing the trails of Cook County's forest preserves!

The Trailblazers program kicked off on June 4 - National Trails Day - with two morning walks. The first took place at Beck Lake near the Des Plaines River. Volunteer guide Lynette led participants on a deep woods immersion experience along the paved trail. Participants identified various plants, insects and trees, focusing on the diversity and beauty in and around Beck Lake.

Later that morning, volunteer guide Bruce led a hike at Swallow Cliff Woods. He took the group on a moderately paced hike from Forty Acre Woods through Swallow Cliff Woods, highlighting the flora and fauna of the region, discussing "leave no trace" ethics, and talking about the geologic formation of the area and the history of the site.

There have been four walks so far this month, with another eight scheduled through July. The scenery and topography of each walk has been quite different, highlighting how unique each region and site can be. And the topics covered have a been just as varied, including history, ecology, volunteerism, and hobbies. While everyone is welcome to join, attendees tend to be from neighborhoods close to the sites, making these walks convenient for residents and ideal for our goal of engaging local community members.

Join us for the next walks on June 25 at Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve in Willow Springs and June 27 at Forest Glen Woods in Forest Glen. Or visit our website to see a complete list of walks through July!

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Be the First to Know...

Attendees enjoying Beer in the Woods

Learn more about Beer in the Woods on our website and follow us on Facebook to be the first to know when tickets go on sale (5th Annual Beer in the Woods by Lynn Renee Photography).

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6th Annual Beer in the Woods Tickets on Sale Soon!

The 6th Annual Beer in the Woods is Saturday, September 24 at LaBagh Woods in Chicago, so mark your calendars, get psyched, and follow our event page on Facebook. Be sure to click "going" or "interested" to receive updates about the event and be the first to know when tickets go on sale. This year's event will feature 40 breweries and cideries; a bike clinic; an interactive campsite; guided nature walks in the woods and much more!

We welcome everyone and encourage you to get in touch with us if you would like to attend but need a specific accommodation.

Beer in the Woods is a fundraiser to support the vital work of the Friends community. We're currently accepting donations for our raffle and seeking sponsors at all levels. Benefits include day-of signage, complimentary tickets, and promotion across social media, among others.

Please contact Ilana Federman, Outreach Manager, at ilana@fotfp.org to discuss anything related to Beer in the Woods. Or call 312-356-9990 ext. 305.

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Friends of the Forest Preserves unites people to protect, promote, and care for the forest preserves in Cook County.

If you're inspired, please become a member, renew your membership, or make your donation today. Thank you!

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Our Contact Information
Friends of the Forest Preserves
411 S Wells St Ste 300
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 356-9990
http://www.fotfp.org

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