Cook County Forest Preserve District (FPD) Board Meeting - March 13, 2018
What did the Board decide:
Acceptance of report from study conducted July, 2015-January, 2018 “ Walking Green: Developing an Evidence Base for Nature Prescription in Forest Preserve District of Cook County” A study partially funded by the Cook County FPD and by Northwestern University was conducted by Dr. Teresa Horton to compare health benefits of walking in a forest preserve property and on a suburban sidewalk. While health benefits of walking are widely recognized, the issue of whether where we walk matters needs further study. The purpose was to gather evidence that might provide data supporting nature prescription-in essence, a recommendation to spend time in nature. Her results indicate there is a greater benefit to perceived mood and perceived level of stress. This is part of an initiative to connect medical providers and use of forest preserves. The program Park Rx is currently under development with Swedish Covenant Hospital.
Mary Mix McDonald: Resolution to honor her life of public service. She served on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, 1974-1994, the first Republican woman elected to the Cook County Board. Her service included the establishment of the Chicago Botanic Gardens and improving Cook County Hospital.
Friends of Chicago River: Resolution to honor their service as valued partners of the Forest Preserves and advocates for the Chicago River system. General Supt. Randall acknowledged their beneficial, meaningful projects for restoration and support of Chicago River policies, inspiring people of all ages to advocate for nature.
US Green Building Council LEED Platinum Certification: First such recognition for a Cook County FPD building. This was for the renovation of the Rolling Knolls Pavilion for exceptional energy efficiency and sustainability. Several other environmentally conscious projects are in progress, including one at the Chgo. Botanic Gardens.
Forest Preserve Foundation Executive Director thanked the Illinois Counties Officials Assoc for a gift of $401,000 for grants.
Bike and Roll Program will be expanded and upgraded to an unlocked system. More bikes will be available at more locations at a lower cost. An app is used.
Bike path connections - Several bike path connection projects are in process with approval for contract amendments. Several other amendments were approved regarding improvements in park facilities.
Board Pres. Toni Preckwinke was invited by the MWRD to take a swim in the Chicago River which she did with the wetsuit they provided.
Mary Mix McDonald’s daughter found the following quote among her mom’s favorite clippings tucked under the glass on her dresser. “Care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only object of good government.” Thomas Jefferson
Observer - Carolyn Cosentino Meeting Length: 1 hr. 18 min.