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