Next Century Conservation Plan

Providing Vision and Leadership for Our Shared Forest Preserves

The Next Century Conservation Plan provides a bold and visionary blueprint for the future of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. With lead funding from The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, the plan lays out a set of bold actions to make Cook County a national leader in urban conservation. It highlights the preserves as one of the region’s greatest assets for the environment, the economy and our quality of life, while demonstrating how its fragile native ecosystems are at risk. The plan calls for the County to make a massive commitment to restoration, expand protected lands by at least 30%, and to make the preserves more accessible to the diverse people of Cook County. The Plan outlines these ambitious goals:

  • Goal 1: Nature
    Native landscapes will thrive for generations.
  • Goal 2: People
    Everyone in Cook County will feel welcome at the forest preserves—and will seek them out for discovery, renewal and fun.
  • Goal 3: Economy
    Communities will value the economic benefits of protected lands.
  • Goal 4: Leadership
    Visionary conservation leaders will safeguard, expand and bring increased resources to the Forest Preserves.