Update from Conservation and Policy Council Provided to Forest Preserve District of Cook County Board
Cook County Forest Preserves District (FPDCC) Board Meeting
December 15, 2020 (Meeting held virtually)
Conservation and Policy Council Update
FPDCC is contributing $6,000 from a previous grant to Audubon Great Lake so it can take interested community members on four field trips to restored and enhanced coastal wetlands at Burnham Prairie Nature Preserve and Eggers Marsh in the Calumet region. Forest Preserve Foundation grants have been accepted for ecological restoration at Cranberry Slough Preserve near Village of Palos Park and at Schubert's Woods Preserve near the Village of Park Forest. A third Foundation grant was accepted for the "Forest Preserve Experience Program", an outdoor learning and basic job skill training summer program available to 75 to 100 high school-aged youth whose families are clients of the Housing Authority of CC. Activities include hands-on restoration, environmental education, job skills training. This program is administered by Friends of the Forest Preserves.
NeighborSpace is a nonprofit urban land trust in Chicago established in 1997 by the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District and FPDCC overseeing ownership of vacant/untended lots used for community developed gardens and play areas. An intergovernmental agreement was approved for continued funding to NeighborSpace for the period 1/1/2021 to 12/31/2025.
Advertising and promotional services were approved for 2021, targeting groups throughout CC across all media, with attention to economically disconnected areas and those diverse black and Latino populations that usually don't go to preserves. The pandemic has affected distributing copies of event guides to physical locations. Winter programs/activities/information are on the FPDCC website HERE
A contract extension was approved for one year with busing companies. FPDCC's Conservation & Experiential Programming Dept connects community members to nature through a wide range of educational and outdoor experiences. This Dept and the Volunteer Resources Center provides bus transportation for school and community groups to attend programs/events.
The FPDCC calendar 12/15/20 to 12/30/20 is on the website. The nature centers are open only for restrooms. With Covid-19 restrictions, there are no in-person events. Information on virtual programs can be found on their website.
The Forest Preserve Foundation was founded in 2006 to help supplement tax dollars in support of FPDCC. In 2012 it launched an annual golf benefit the "Conservation Cup". In Sept 2020 over 100 golfers at George Dunn National helped the foundation raise $137,000. Since the foundation's beginning, it has awarded $2.5 million.
It was noted that President Preckwinkle and Superintendent Randall have served 10 years in their positions. The 2021 Jan-Dec yearly Wall Calendars are out, featuring photos of Forest Preserves landscapes, close-ups of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife. Calendars are available at nature centers.
Observed by: Michele Niccolai Meeting Length: 1.5 hour
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.