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15.07.2013 admin
The master plan outlines a variety of offerings to serve youth, families, groups and individuals of all ages, interests and backgrounds.
Public input played a major role in the development of the camping master plan, and the District hosted a series of open meetings and focus groups along with an online survey and other direct outreach. Work is expected to begin in the summer, with the initial sites completed by the end of 2013.
Camp Pine Woods, located in an open site between Beck Lake and the Des Plaines River, is conceived to accommodate organized groups as well as families.
In addition to the improvements, the longer term vision in the Camp Master Plan is to enhance these five sites to add some family cabins, and additional dining and recreation activities, depending on the success of the initial phase and available funding. More modest investment would occur at “second tier” sites, which provide opportunities for expansion that can meet demands as the camping program gains momentum. Camp Kiwanis was once a camping outpost in the Palos area and sits across the road from the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center.
The island in the lagoons offers a unique overnight experience for low-impact, seasonal camping. The concept is for a small cluster of primitive tent sites at strategic stops along the Des Plaines River to provide an overnight camping experience for paddlers. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) has been removing Ash trees in response to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation since 2009. How Did the Forest Preserve District First Respond?How Did the Forest Preserve District First Respond?
What’s the Forest Preserve District’s Current Strategy?What’s the Forest Preserve District’s Current Strategy? The Forest Preserve District of Cook County presented its Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan to the Board of Commissioners in September, 2008 and is now implementing that strategy. The current total cost for contract tree removal as listed above for the Ash trees infested with EAB and other trees at risk of failure is$1,083,793.43. Unfortunately, the reduction of the Ash tree canopy in certain picnic groves that have large populations of Ash and mature Ash trees could be significant. Thousands of trees are showing signs of advanced infestation and may pose a risk to the safety of the general public. What About Monitoring the Infected Trees Before Removing Them?What About Monitoring the Infected Trees Before Removing Them?
The District will monitor some infested trees in picnic grove areas if they do not pose an immediate public safety hazard. Will the District Replace and Replant Trees that Are Removed?Will the District Replace and Replant Trees that Are Removed? It is a priority for the Forest Preserve District to replant trees that have been removed from picnic groves and public facilities.
Why Hasn’t the Forest Preserve District Looked at Other Measures Besides Removing Trees?Why Hasn’t the Forest Preserve District Looked at Other Measures Besides Removing Trees? How Does the Forest Preserve District Feel About Having to Remove Trees?How Does the Forest Preserve District Feel About Having to Remove Trees?
The Forest Preserve District deeply understands the negative impact, frustration and sadness at having to remove trees that are infected and dying from EAB.
First Time CampingAs any camper can attest, you will experience incredible things on a camping trip that you won’t on a day trip. There are also many online resources that can help you get a feel for the basics of camping, including what to wear, what to bring and what to eat.
The plan envisions a series of diverse camping experiences by revitalizing existing locations, creating new destinations, and developing special event campsites near nature centers. A new entry further north on Oak Park Avenue will help the camp feel more isolated from the road and will also provide a smoother arrival experience. Adjacent to one of the District regional maintenance centers, the site is currently used to access the equestrian trail system.

The District strives to protect and restore the county’s diverse ecosystems, so all our unique native plants and animals can live and thrive. The Emerald Ash Borer is a beetle from Asia that feeds on Ash trees and was discovered as the cause of extensive Ash mortality in southeast Michigan and adjacent areas of Canada in 2002. Forest Preserve District staff participated in all 13 Illinois EAB readiness subcommittee meetings hosted by the Morton Arboretum from September 2003 to August 2008.
The dead trees pose a public safety hazard, experts say, because they can eventually fall over, damaging property and possibly causing injuries. The removal of Ash trees in these areas will open canopy space that will be filled by younger trees. The Forest Preserve District’s intention is to reduce the impact to the tree canopy as little as possible.
The Forest Preserve District’s strategic removal at this time is in the best interest and safety of the County’s residents and taxpayers. The replanting will begin in the spring of 2012 and will be ongoing over the next several years as funding allows. The District’s objective now is to responsibly remove infected Ash trees that could pose a risk to the general public and the users of the Preserve and are dead or will die in the near future.
We don’t want to remove our beautiful Ash trees – we simply have to remove them in order to protect the general public and users of the Preserve. It’s just a few hours long, open to the general public, there’s no obligation to camp—and it’s free. CLIC training provides instruction in leadership skills, camp equipment use and care, and group activities related to outdoor recreation and nature-based education. Architectural and engineering plans will be developed for each of the priority sites in the spring of 2013. The campground will connect into existing trails and provide more opportunities to use the historic barn. The camp will provide an alternative for boy scouts to Camp Dan Beard (which will be closed) and will connect to the existing trail system. Bullfrog Lake will focus on primitive camping and connect to existing amenities at nearby Maple Lake where there is boat rental, picnic shelters and trailheads.
Primary features would include trailer parking, and tent camping facilities specially conceived to be equestrian- friendly. Each year, more than 40 million people use these lands and facilities to enjoy or study nature, bicycle, hike, fish, cross-country ski, picnic, golf, canoe, or simply relax in a large preserve that leaves urban life behind. It is thought that this destructive pest was introduced in the early 1990s in infested solid wood packing material originating in Asia. The first confirmed EAB infestation was found on Forest Preserve District properties in 2008. Participating members created the Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan and subcommittees of this team were formed once EAB was detected. Any tree, dead or alive, which has the potential to entirely or partially fail and impact a target, can be considered a hazard. Based on the level of infestation in areas where removals are taking place and surrounding areas, the Forest Preserve District’s analysis is that most of the Ash trees in these areas have been infested with EAB and will eventually die. The District firmly believes that we should act now to prevent a problem or major crisis in the future as has been experienced in other states impacted by the EAB. There also must be a clear distinction between the District’s priority to remove infected trees and a comprehensive strategy to replant. The implication that the Forest Preserve District has not explored every option to cope with this problem is simply false and erroneous. There is no question that there is an emotional attachment to the trees and forests, especially in the Forest Preserve District’s groves and picnic areas. That means you might hear an evening chorus of frogs and birds while you’re carrying your dishes to the wash house.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County Camping program is designed to make camping accessible to everyone.
Our staff can talk you through the experience and answer any questions you may have about camping in the forest preserves. Public participation will continue to play a role as these operational plans are developed.
The adjacent Camp Falcon will be merged with Camp Sullivan, creating one cohesive camping program. There is existing parking, access to multi-use trails and trail connection to the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center. It will be closely connected to Sand Ridge Nature Center and nearby Green Lake Aquatic Center.
As of June 2010, the EAB has been found in the following areas: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as Ontario and Quebec in Canada. The Forest Preserve District’s Assistant Director of Resource Management, John McCabe, is an ongoing member of the Municipal Committee. Since 2003 the District has worked cooperatively with major agencies from all levels of government to manage the EAB crisis in the hope that the silver bullet could be found and to save as many Ash trees as possible. We offer everything from gear rental to free Camping 101 workshops and casual camping skill lessons at the campgrounds. The District is in the beginning stages of addressing the infestation and anticipates the process of tree removal and replanting will continue over the next several years.
Internal training classes have been conducted with all Forest Preserve District Resource Management staff on tree care and removal.
Dead and dying ash trees, weakened or killed by EAB, pose a risk to public safety and therefore are a potential liability to the District if left standing along streets, parking lots, bike trails, horse trails or other public spaces. But the safety of the general public and Preserve users must always remain our highest priority. And you’ll have more time to let the serenity of nature melt away the worries of everyday life. We even offer a comprehensive camping leadership course for leaders of large organized groups. The training sessions covered strategies to detect and address Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorn Beetle and Gypsy Moth. Trees that are deemed hazardous will be removed, while those that are not a threat to lives or property will be left with-in the Preserve,” (Forest Preserve District of Cook County Emerald Ash Borer Managemnt Plan August 2008). Forest Service, has released over 24,000 parasitic wasps throughout the Preserves since 2009.. District staff work diligently every day to make sure that the Forest Preserves are a safe place for everyone, and will continue to efficiently and effectively manage our natural areas and forests. The District’s number one priority is the safety of the general public and the users of the Preserve.
The hope was that strategies such as predatory wasps could mitigate the effects of EAB and eventually allow for a resurgence of the Ash tree population in future years.
The Forest Preserve District’s work and decisions are guided by our core values to protect and preserve the natural beauty of the Forest Preserve.
The current number of trees being removed is 8,962, of which 7,724 are Ash trees that are infested with EAB. It’s why the District utilizes best practices, up-to-date research and methods, data analysis, and sound judgment to accomplish our mission. The Forest Preserve District has begun tree removal and the work under these contracts, which were approved by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Board, will likely continue through January 2012.

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