Forest Preserves

Cook County is home to almost 70,000 acres of natural areas and open space that have been acquired, protected, and cared for by the Cook County Forest Preserves. The Purpose of the Forest Preserves is to protect and preserve natural communities, including prairies, forests, wetlands, rivers and streams, and flora and fauna that live there. The Preserves provide educational, leisure, and outdoor recreation opportunities for Cook County residents.

District 12 of Cook County is home to LaBagh Woods. The North Branch of the Chicago River flows through the center of the woods where visitors can hike. There are open, grassy areas that allow for picnics. Groups of 25 or more require a permit which can be purchased here:

To learn more about what the Forest Preserve activities, visit For a deep dive into the Forest Preserve’s 2024 budget, click here.

Picnic Permits for 2024 are available! Plan your next Forest Preserve group outing and find more information by visiting here:

Brookfield Zoo Chicago

The Brookfield Zoo Chicago gives Cook County Commissioners limited free zoo tickets and parking passes to give to Constituents. If you would like to obtain zoo tickets, call our office at 773-283-7873, or call us to schedule a visit to our District or Downtown Office. Brookfield Zoo Chicago always has exciting events and programs. Click here to see what’s going on today!