In 2019, the Forest Preserves District of Cook County provided numerous free opportunities for individuals, families, youth organizations, and academic institutions to partake in paddling events. These programs were, and continue to be, available to constituents from all regions of Cook County.
The Greater Maywood Paddling Program provides chances for organized groups to connect to nature and water through kayaking experiences. Group leaders are presented a series of trainings on kayaking by Forest Preserves staff members. Upon completion, certified leaders will be able to access the Kayak Gear Lending Library to take their group members on paddling trips at Thatcher Glen Pond or along the 5.5-mile stretch of the Des Plaines River, starting at Maywood Grove and ending at Plank Road Meadow Boat Launch in Lyons. Last year’s organizations included: Westchester Public Library, Austin Career Academy, Maywood Park District, Outdoor Afro, West Suburban Special Recreation, Opportunity Knocks, Oak Park River Forest High School, New Star Special Recreation Services, Proviso East High School, and Reavis High School.
Additional paddling events took place in various FPDCC regions. The Ralph Frese Memorial Paddle, Sunrise Coffee and Canoe Cruise, and Fall Paddle Fest were features of the New Trier Township. Evening paddles encouraged participants from the Elk Grove and Glenview villages, while the Des Plaines Canoe and Kayak Marathon paddled through surrounding towns from Lake County to Mount Prospect. The greater Elgin area had the chance to paddle the pond at Rolling Knolls. The southern end of Cook County had the opportunity to get on the water during the Little Calumet River Cleanup, Kids Fest at Wampum Lake, and Beubien Festival at Flatfoot Lake.
Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator-North Zone Department of Conservation & Recreation Programming
O: 708-386-4042 EXT 26 • C: 224-456-8602 Timothy.Mondl@cookcountyil.gov
1140 Lake Street, Suite #309 • Oak Park, IL 60301