Concerned about climate change? Interested in protecting our precious resources of breathable air, drinkable water, and native habitat? Want to create jobs while mitigating local flooding? Here’s a way: in the upcoming midterm election, vote Yes on the referendum to fund the Cook County Forest Preserve (you’ll find this referendum at the bottom of your ballot.)

A property tax increase of 0.025% — which amounts to less than $1.66 a month for most homeowners — will help restore 30,000 acres of forest preserve land to good health. And restoring the health of our forest preserves will make our communities better by:

• making air cleaner to breathe in the Cook County area, reducing health complications such as asthma because the forest preserve’s millions of trees are our collective lungs, absorbing pollution and cleaning our air;

• ensuring cleaner water sources and less flooding, because forest preserves filter storm and rainwater, keeping pollution from entering our waterways and reducing the risk of flooding from heavy rainfall in communities across our area;

• protecting local habitat and wildlife because native wildlife thrives when land and water are conserved.

Voting Yes on this measure will also help create and sustain thousands of jobs and lead to more opportunities for county residents, such as summer jobs and scholarships for youth, including those from historically underserved communities.

The referendum has the support of more than 100 environmental, labor, civic, business, and faith organizations across Cook County — the Illinois Environmental Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Field Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and many more.

Join them and vote Yes to fund the Cook County Forest Preserve on Nov. 8. For more information, visit

And please spread the word.

Wendy Greenhouse
Oak Park

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