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Worldview

Cook County’s 'Next Century' Plan To Maintain Forest Preserves

Many people live lives isolated from nature, but they don’t have to. Most Cook County residents — 80 percent — live within five miles of a Forest Preserve. The Chicago area has some of the greatest plant diversity in America. The Forest Preserve District has maintained that nature for over a century. They’re in the middle of a major initiative to keep it vibrant for another century. It’s called the Next Century Plan and it’s very ambitious. The county plans to acquire another 21,000 acres of forest preserve and restore 30,000 acres to good ecological health. They also plan to raise $40 million a year for nature restoration and research. As a government agency, the County Forest Preserve District employs many of its own researchers to better maintain Cook County’s unique ecology. Laura Anchor is a biologist for the county, and Eileen Figel is deputy general superintendent for the Forest Preserve District. They join us to discuss the Next Century Plan and how you can get involved with protecting the local biosphere.

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