We All Should Vote Yes for the Forest Preserves of Cook County

For Cook County residents, here's an incredibly easy way to help fight climate change and support biodiversity. A slightly different version was published in the   Oak Park Wednesday Journal on October 18, 2022. At the beginning of the 20th century, a group of farsighted people had the novel idea to create the Cook County Forest Preserves system, the first of its kind in the country. It was a daunting task to plan, persuade people, and get laws through the legislature. Only then did the real work begin of purchasing and managing vast acreage, developing public programs, and conserving biodiversity while catering to humans. None of this was easy. Starting with an initial purchase of 500 acres in 1916, today the FPDCC comprises 70,000 acres of natural and recreational areas stretching from Lake-Cook Road south to Steger Road. Consequently, Cook County, home to over 5 million people, can also boast that it’s the most biodiverse county in the state.  In this time of global warming, en

Children Need Trees and Shrubs, Too

My brother told me this sad story: He is selling his house, which has in back a patio, a strip of grass, and a small wooded area with native flowers and bushes, paths, and places to sit. A prospective buyer came through and liked the house, but she was worried. Where would her children play? She discussed cutting down the trees, including some young oaks, in order to put up a swing set and gym. He tried to explain the value of a small natural area for wildlife and humans (reconciliation ecology in action). Children need nature, and what better place to find it than the back yard?

Trying to sell a house in this economy is sad, or certainly difficult enough, but my brother and I shook our heads over this prospective buyer's truly sad lack of imagination. Had her children been along she might have been surprised at their reaction to the backyard--most likely it would have been incredibly positive. My brother was relieved not to be selling to her.

Comments

Gloria said…
I hope he finds a buyer willing to allow the trees to stay. We have found that the grand children find much to interest them in our gardens with no open space large enough for playing ball.
I think he will, most people would value trees, I should think. Wild backyards are where many children first get imprinted by nature. Of course, then they grow up to be nature lovers :)

Hope this happens to your grandkids.
knapperbill said…
Hi Adrian. I think you make a valid point here about kids and nature. I'm an elementary educator, and it seems as if kids become more separated from nature every year. I hold outdoor education summer classes, and am always impressed with their natural inclination to begin climbing trees. They just simply need to get outside! Great blog, by the way. You have many thought provoking topics. Love it!