Forest Park, happily, is bordered by Forest Preserves. Over the decades we haven’t gotten too excited by this circumstance because the Cook County government, which runs the Forest Preserve District, has had a policy of mainly-benign neglect. That unarticulated policy basically said, “We’ll collect a whole lot of taxes. We’ll mow the grass so you can have your family reunion picnics. Beyond that it is all about preserving nature. If the wooded areas are taken over by invasive species of trees, well, that’s nature for you. If there is no way to get a canoe down to the Des Plaines River, well, have you seen that river lately?”
Now things are actively different and Forest Parkers are going to see that difference soon at our very own Miller Meadow on Roosevelt Road at First Avenue. By next summer there will be a huge dog park, multiple athletic fields which ought to take some pressure off youth sports groups and a walking trail. And that is just Phase One.
Phase Two brings the canoe launch, pedestrian access to the river, a bird-watching area and prairie restoration.
At its inception a century ago, the Forest Preserves were a visionary effort. It is good to see some vision at work again.