Cook County Forest Preserves Has Loads of Fun Planned for National Public Lands Day

Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26 by taking part in activities at select Cook County Forest Preserves. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook) Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26 by taking part in activities at select Cook County Forest Preserves. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

In celebration of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, the Cook County Forest Preserve District is throwing a party.

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Visitors can choose from a slew of free activities scheduled across more than a dozen sites from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Among the options, you can take a nature walk, learn the basics of camping, build a toy boat, meet some critters or join a scavenger hunt.

While you’re enjoying the day in the great outdoors, Forest Preserve officials have a favor to ask in return: Show the natural areas some love, especially considering all that they’ve meant to people during the coronavirus pandemic, by pitching in with cleanup efforts.

Supplies including trash bags and gloves will be available at participating nature centers, and pick sticks will be loaned out at Kickapoo, Bemis South and Skokie Lagoons, according to a Forest Preserve spokeswoman.

National Public Lands Day, established in 1994, is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation. Admission fees at all National Parks, including at Indiana Dunes, are waived for the day.

On Saturday, registration is required for many of the activities at Cook County forest preserves. Click here to view the complete slate of programs, as well as locations and times. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]


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