The Forest Preserves of Cook County recently acquired a 397-acre equestrian estate in Barrington Hills known as Horizon Farms, bringing its total land holdings to 69,123 acres.

Horizon Farms is the single largest tract purchased by the Forest Preserves in a single transaction since 1968.
Thank you for your interest in learning about how I am representing you, your family, and neighbors on the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

My mission is to professionalize, modernize and privatize Cook County government while providing efficient, effective, economical and compassionate management of County business.

-Gregg Goslin

Commissioner Goslin is proud to report that in 2013, over $15 million in Cook County services was returned to the 14th District.

Learn more by viewing our annual reports:

Money returned to the 14th District

14th District Office Expenses

Did you know the Forest Preserves of Cook County hosts an online volunteer coordination system through their website? Find internship, volunteer and learning opportunities on the District website.

Potential volunteers can now search for volunteer opportunities by zip code, region, date and more! You can also create your own profiles and can sign up for opportunities online. If you have time, skills and enthusiasm to give, get out into your Forest Preserves!

Stepping Up Initiative

At the May 20th Board meeting, I sponsored and passed the  “Stepping Up Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails”, supported by President Preckwinkle and Sherriff Dart.

Cook County takes pride in its responsibility to protect and enhance the health, welfare and safety of its residents in efficient and cost-effective ways; and has successfully reduced its total jail population by 20% since 2013; and is implementing creative approaches to best meet these goals.

Counties nationwide routinely provide treatment services to the estimated 2 million people with serious mental illnesses booked into jail each year. Without appropriate treatment and services, people with mental illnesses continue to cycle through the criminal justice system, often resulting in tragic outcomes for these individuals and their families. Adults with mental illnesses tend to stay longer in jail and upon release are at a higher risk of recidivism.

The initiative is a partnership with the National Association of Counties, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Foundation, which will examine treatment and service capabilities in order to determine programs available to people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders, to safely reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails.

To learn more about the initiative, visit https://stepuptogether.org/

 

FPD Land Acquisition in Barrington Hills

The Forest Preserves of Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a request to purchase a 24-acre parcel of land in Barrington Hills located at 165 Algonquin Road.  The parcel will provide a greenway connection from the Forest Preserve’s Spring Lake Preserve, one of the Forest Preserve’s finest natural area properties, to the 400-acre Horizon Farms property, acquired in 2014.

“As outlined in our Land Acquisition Plan, making purchases near existing parcels of Forest Preserve property benefits the plants and wildlife in the surrounding area,” said Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. “Natural connections to larger areas act as buffers between developed areas and the habitats we are trying to protect.”

Forest Preserve land includes some of the most diverse habitats in Cook County such as forests, wetlands, prairies and savannas.

“Even adding smaller pieces of land to our holdings are important to our overall portfolio,” said General Superintendent Arnold Randall. “We’ve worked to identify properties in close proximity to our current natural areas in order to fill in the gaps in our current holdings.”

The board’s approval grants the FPCC the authority to purchase the parcel for $2.15 million. The money will come from the FPCC’s Real Estate Acquisition Fund which is appropriated with General Operating Funds. In 2012, the sale of General Obligation Bonds provided an additional $27 million earmarked for Land Acquisition.

Once this and other recent acquisitions are final, the District’s total land holdings will be 69,337 acres. Under the leadership of President Preckwinkle, the FPCC has increased its efforts to buy land, adding 1,060 acres since 2011, including this property and other recently approved acquisitions. Land Acquisition is one of the goals of the Next Century Conservation Plan, commissioned by President Preckwinkle, which aims to expand the Forest Preserve footprint to 90,000 acres over the next 25 years.

 

Upcoming Special Events in the Forest Preserves

Check out some of the great upcoming events in the Cook County Forest Preserves:

May 23 – Sept 7
Daily (weather permitting)
10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Butterflies & Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden
Hundreds of colorful butterflies from around the world – including South America, Asia and Africa, as well as butterflies native to Illinois – flutter around visitors in the lepidopteran habitat of Butterflies & Blooms, which relocates this year to a new site near McDonald Woods. Fee applies.
June 8 – Sept 7
Monday – Thursday
Evenings at the Chicago Botanic Garden
The Garden’s summer hours extend to 9 p.m. from June 6 to September 7, with evening music programs beginning on June 8. The special live music performances for all ages are offered four nights a week. See chicagobotanic.org/evenings for a schedule of performances. Free.
June 23
Tuesday
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m
Forest Jams at Green Lake Aquatic Center, Calumet City
Head out to our summer concert series and participate in group jam session, learn about making instruments from natural and recycled materials and enjoy concerts by local musicians!
June 27
Saturday
Great American Campout at Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland (1:30 a.m.)
Celebrate camping as part of the National Wildlife Federation’s annual camping event! Learn what you need for a great camping experience, and hear more about one of our new family camp grounds, Camp Shabbona Woods, located right next to the nature center. Register by 6/25.

Bow Strings and Cliff Stairs at Swallow Cliff Stairs, Palos Hills (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
Families, join us on a Saturday and exercise using the Swallow Cliff stairs, then learn about arfchery and take aim at our targets. And be sure to grab some snacks and check out our new comfort station.

June 30
Tuesday
6:30 p.m.
Films in the Forest: “Into the Woods” at Caldwell Woods, Chicago
When a baker and his wife find out a witch has cursed their family, they travel into the woods to retrieve items from iconic characters such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk in an effort to reverse the curse. Pre-movie activities at 6:30 p.m. Movie at dusk.

 

 

Cook County & FPD Job Opportunities

For a list of Cook County jobs, answers to questions, and to apply, visit http://www.cookcountyil.gov/current-job-listings/. To apply for any of the jobs listed below, visit http://fpdcc.com/about/jobs/.

PositionRemarksDepartmentApplication PeriodStatusSalary
Seasonal Lifeguard IInternal/ExternalConservation and Experiential ProgrammingJune 17, 2015 - June 30, 2015Seasonal$12/Hourly
Senior Resource EcologistInternal/ExternalResource ManagementJune 22, 2015 - July 5, 2015Full-Time$71,602/Yearly

 

Call for 14th District Poll Workers

The Cook County Clerk’s office needs additional community members to serve as north suburban poll workers for the April 7th Consolidated Election! Poll workers are paid $175 or $325 based on the position they choose. For more information, visit cookcountyclerk.com/judges or call (312) 603-0970 to learn more and submit an application.

 

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Upcoming Meetings

Cook County Board
Wednesday, July 1st

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Forest Preserve Board
Tuesday, July 21st

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