One hundred years ago, civic leaders had the foresight to leave us an extraordinary legacy – the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the first forest preserve district in the United States. The Forest Preserves’ unique habitats make it an ecological treasure. Today, as we face the challenges of urban sprawl and climate change, we need healthy habitats – wetlands, woodlands, and prairies – more than ever, but these precious resources are in dire need of restoration. The Next Century Conservation Plan for the Forest Preserves of Cook County is an ambitious blueprint for the future. The plan lays out a set of bold actions to make Cook County a national leader in urban conservation. The plan calls for massive restoration and expansion of protected lands, as well as a commitment to making the preserves more accessible to the diverse people of Cook County.