What we're about

Calling nature-lovers of all ages! This group celebrates the many ways we enjoy the forest preserves in Cook County. Our meetup events are welcome to everyone - trail-walkers, picnickers, volunteers, tree-huggers, cyclists - basically anyone who enjoys being outside in nature. Check out our upcoming events for opportunities to meet like-minded people in a forest preserve near you.

As Friends of the Forest Preserves, we bring people together to learn about, use, and celebrate the forest preserves of Cook County.

-Nature enhances our physical, mental, and economic well being, and our group is dedicated to making it easier for all individuals to enjoy the natural world, regardless of where they live.

-Hands-on learning and service gives us the skills, knowledge, and inspiration to care for and connect with nature. Together, we can make an impact by thinking globally and acting locally.

Community Guidelines:

-Our group is a community. All events are welcoming, safe, and inclusive for everyone to participate.

-Our meetup group, events, and membership are open to the public. All members are welcome, regardless of age, identity, ability, and experience level.

-Meetup events are an opportunity to meet like-minded community members and enjoy new experiences in a safe, judgement-free space. Language or actions that are harmful, inappropriate, or otherwise not in the spirit of the group will not be tolerated on Meetup.com or at our events.

-Members that violate our community guidelines will be reported to Meetup and immediately removed from the group.

-If you feel that any members have acted inappropriately or violated the guidelines of our group, please contact a group Organizer.

Our meetup group would not be possible without the wonderful forest preserves, nature centers, trails, and people of Cook County. Thank you, Forest Preserves of Cook County!

Upcoming events (3)

Bird Walk at Kickapoo Woods Forest Preserve

Kickapoo Woods


Chicago Audubon Society and Friends of the Forest Preserves will be hosting an early bird walk at Kickapoo Woods. This bird walk is for all birders, beginners and experts, we all have fun! We have a guide, but we are all learning from each other and sharing what we know. Come see what we find!

We will be meeting at the end of the Kickapoo Woods Forest Preserve parking lot. Since so many people are out birding, we will have a limited amount of binoculars, so be sure to come early.

As the weather gets hotter, be sure to bring a water bottle with you, wear sunscreen, and maybe wear a cap or hat. We plan to stay on paved trails and not go off into dirt trails. Please be sure to wear closed-toe shoes, just in case, that you don't mind getting a little dirty.

All ages and expertise levels welcomed! MASKS are still required.

Please register through eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bird-walk-at-kickapoo-woods-tickets-158038095197

Volunteer at Kickapoo Woods

Kickapoo Woods

Come volunteer to collect and distribute ripe seed in local natural areas. Enjoy nature, relax, learn basic plant identification skills and responsible seed collecting techniques, and help your local forest preserve. No previous experience is necessary. All ages are welcomed.

MASKS are still required.

Be sure to bring water. Be sure to dress comfortably. Hat, long sleeves, long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are recommended. Masks are still required. Snacks will be provided.

Can't wait to see some you out in the preserves!

Insect Hike at Poplar Creek Prairie

Carl R. Hansen Woods

Come out and learn about the insects of Poplar Creek Prairie! Our forest preserves are a safe haven for the insects of Cook County, and spending just a couple hours outside will allow you to see a high diversity of them.

Join Poplar Creek Field Organizer and native insect enthusiast, Maya Dutta, for a 2-3 mile walking tour. The walk will include stops to discuss insects in the region, examine native insect habitat, and time for observation. The walk will be on mowed grass trails. Please come prepared for the weather, including appropriate walking shoes, sun protection, and water.

We will meet in the parking lot of Carl R. Hansen Woods. Attendees must RSVP, practice social distancing, and wear face coverings whenever social distancing is not possible during the hike.

Past events (82)

Bird walk at Whistler Woods

Whistler Woods Forest Preserve

Photos (272)

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