Due to COVID-19, much of the programming for Martin Luther King Jr. Day is taking place online this year, but the Cook County Forest Preserves has announced an opportunity for in-person service, no computer screen required.
On Monday, people are encouraged to stop by any one of the preserves’ six nature centers, or the Dan Ryan Woods visitor center, grab some trash bags and gloves, and head out on a self-led litter cleanup hike, any time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dan Ryan Woods).
Clearing trash, officials said, not only makes the preserves a nicer place to visit, but also creates better habitat for native plants and wildlife.
“Throughout the pandemic, the forest preserves have provided the public with a place to safely get outside for nature, fresh air and exercise. This is an opportunity to get outside and give back,” Forest Preserves General Superintendent Arnold Randall said in a statement.
Activity packets will also be available at the centers, while supplies last, for young children, with information about King’s life and legacy.
“The lessons Dr. King left us about the necessity of equity and the power of community are a transcendent gift for every American. To celebrate his legacy on Jan. 18, and every day, let’s remember those lessons and remind ourselves that we too can choose to make a difference,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Below, a map of nature center locations. (Registration is required for Dan Ryan Woods. Call 312-415-2970 or send an email to [email protected])