Graffiti in Grand Army of the Republic Woods

I am an 11-year-old Oak Park kid and I am doing a project for school called “Let’s Make A Difference.” I decided to do this project on a place in River Forest called the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial 

Woods. This woods is named in honor of people who served in the Civil War. This woods is a dump. It is a disgrace to people who gave their lives for their country.

The pollution in the woods is more than you could imagine. On a recent afternoon, I saw two beer bottles, trash from McDonald’s, and a soda can. Everywhere you looked there was graffiti on trees. One of the most common things I saw was concrete. I saw thousands of pounds of concrete, dozens of bags of concrete, and more concrete. I also found a chain link fence, other fencing, old plywood, metal hanging from a tree, artificial stone, and a green bag. (See the photos I took.) I think my best find was a large

piece of metal that could possibly have been from a car. It was under a root, suggesting that it was there for a very long time. This proves that pollution in this woods is an ongoing problem that has received little attention.

This is sad because people cannot enjoy the beauty of nice natural woods. There are big pretty houses nearby, but the neighborhood is not as nice when you go to a park expecting to see good nature, but instead you see lots of trash. Every Oak Park and River Forest kid and adult should be aware and care about this problem.

In the end, these woods just need more attention, but it should not be locals who should have to deal with problems like this. I think such a problem should be fixed by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County or even as high as the Cook County board. If you are reading this, I thank you for your time and consideration.

Zephaniah B. Roe

Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!