Friends of the Forest Preserves

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This page is a work in progress and not the final ILMIP product. The content on this page does not necessarily represent the views of IDNR and the project partners.

Overview

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Friends of the Forest Preserves works to protect, restore, and promote the forest preserves of Cook County for the benefit of people and nature.

Friends' work takes many forms and is often collaborative. Friends works with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County to ensure that the forest preserves are used for their intended purpose to provide habitat for native plants and animals and to provide educational opportunities and enjoyment for the county's citizens. Friends gets on-the-ground ecological restoration work done in the preserves, provides paid internships to local youth, and creatively works to inspire all of Cook County's residents to get outside and enjoy the forest preserves. 

Visit the Friends of theForest Preserves website.

Projects

Calumet Citizen Outreach and Recreation Project

This outreach project encourages Calumet citizens to explore various recreation opportunities available in their local forest preserves. By partnering with Fishin' Buddies, Friends of the Chicago River, and Southeast Environmental Task Force (SETF), Friends of the Forest Preserves expects to reach more Calumet citizens and get more people outside enjoying their local forest preserves.

Forest Preserves Stewardship Enhancement Project

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This project aims to get more volunteers to attend regularly scheduled volunteer workdays in various forest preserves throughout Cook County. In addition to getting more work done in the preserves, this project also helps to recruit and train the next generation of stewardship leaders in Cook County.  


Internship Programs

Friends of the Forest Preserves provides paid internships to youth and adults for the purpose of inspiring Cook County residents to use and care for the forest preserves. 

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps

The Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps is a 6-week summer internship program for high school students (ages 15-18). Interns perform hands-on ecological restoration and trail maintenence work outside in the forest preserves under the supervision of adult leaders (age 21+) and other staff. For many, this is their first job, so this program also teaches basic job skills like being on time to work, filling out time cards, treating coworkers with respect, and dressing appropriately for working conditions. In addition to work skills, interns also work through an intensive environmental education curriculum which teaches basic environmental issues like pollution, invasive species, and leave no trace techniques.

Calumet Invasive Species Corps

the Calumet Invasive Species Corps is a 2-year ecological restoration internship for adults. Interns focus on forest preserves in the Calumet region, including Beaubien Woods, Eggers Woods, Powderhorn Prairie, and Kickapoo woods, identifying and eliminating current and new threats of invasive species at those and nearby sites. 


Forest Preserve Leadership Corps

The Forest Preserve Leadership Corps program is for graduates of the Conservation leadership Corps who are not yet old enough to be adult crew leaders. These 18-20 year old interns build on their previous experience as summer interns by obtaining licenses and certifications that were not available to them before age 18. They perform invasive species control and community outreach. 

Partners

Chicago Wilderness

Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Friends of the Chicago River

Southeast Environmental Task Force

Fishin' Buddies

Student Conservation Association

Field Museum

Calumet Stewardship Initiative