The League of Women Voters of Oak Park-River Forest urges you to vote Yes to support funding for the Cook County Forest Preserves. We join with every other Cook County League, as well as the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, in support of the referendum.

An increase of 0.025% in the property tax would allow for the restoration of 30,000 forest preserve acres, acquiring 2,700 acres over the next 20 years, and boosting year-round engagement programs. This increase represents, on average, a $20 per year property tax increase across Cook County. This is a small price to protect, restore, and expand our forest preserves to ensure cleaner air and water. Since the Cook County Forest Preserves creation more than a century ago, there has not been a referendum to provide more resources for them since the 1930s.

Supporting the Cook County Forest Preserve referendum will provide:

•      Clean water and the ability to capture water, thereby minimizing flooding from heavy rainfall in communities across our area.

•      Reduced pollution because the forest preserve’s millions of trees absorb pollution and clean the air.

•      Funds for urgent repairs at the Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden.

•      Protection of threatened and endangered wildlife habitat and native flora and fauna; removal of invasive species.

•      Jobs, including for those in historically underserved communities.

The referendum is supported by groups such as the Adler Planetarium, the Audubon Great Lakes, The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Field Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo. Many other environmental, civic, business, and faith organizations across Cook County also support the referendum.

You can learn more at

Vote Yes on the last question on your Nov. 8 ballot to protect clean water sources, air quality, and wildlife for Cook County residents to enjoy for years to come.

Jane Hastings and Joan Petertil
League of Women Voters of OP-RF

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