Approved May 3, 2013
The members of the Commission responsible for developing the Cook County Forest Preserve’s Next Century Conservation Plan commit to recommend a Plan that will:
- Reaffirm the founders’ vision and honor the original purpose of “protecting and preserving the flora, fauna, and scenic beauties…in their natural state…for the purpose of the education, pleasure and recreation of the public,”  and recognize that preserving nature today requires new strategies.
- Generate pride in Preserves that are as iconic as Chicago’s Lakefront and provide unique connections to nature and scenic beauty in a dense and ever-changing metropolis.
- Educate each generation to help them experience nature, value how nature is relevant to their lives, understand the natural history of their region, and inspire them to sustain, expand and steward the Preserves.
- Engage an increasingly diverse population, reducing barriers to access for all residents of Cook County and beyond.
- Recognize the power of the Preserves to help people and the region succeed in a changing world by:
- Contributing to our resilience in a changing climate
- Promoting individual and community health and well being
- Creating a quality of life that supports economic competitiveness
- Understand and manage the Preserves as part of a broader ecosystem and regional system of connected public space.
- Collaborate with communities, institutions and individuals to address the challenges and opportunities facing the Preserves.
- Recommend innovative techniques for protecting natural resources, serving the public, and financing the mission.
- Maintain an open and accessible process for developing our recommendations.
 The District’s 1913 Enabling Legislation states: “…to acquire… and hold lands containing one or more natural forests or parts thereof or lands connecting such forests or parts thereof, or lands capable of being forested, for the purpose of protecting and preserving the flora, fauna, and scenic beauties within such district, and to restore, restock, protect and preserve the natural forests and such lands together with their flora and fauna, as nearly as may be, in their natural state and condition, for the purpose of the education, pleasure, and recreation of the public…”