News from President Toni Preckwinkle

President Preckwinkle Speaks to the Cook County Urban Agricultural Network at 1st Annual Southland Harvest Festival

Joined by Mayor Peloquin of Blue Island who hosted the Harvest Festival, President Preckwinkle spoke to a large crowd assembled at the Tommie Brown Sports Association in Blue Island, to kick-off the creation of the Cook County Urban Agricultural Network.  Both President Preckwinkle and Mayor Peloquin urged those in attendance to learn about urban agriculture, as well as the community building and health benefits which come from such networking.  Maria Saldaña, Bureau Chief for Cook County Economic Development, spoke about partnering with other municipalities throughout suburban Cook County, the importance of community gardens and that a website has been created to further link information to the public about their work.

Many partners were in attendance with exhibits, including the Field Museum, the University of Illinois Extension Program, representatives from the Blue Island area and local government, the County Departments of Environmental Control and Public Health.  Partner workshops included:  Planning a Heritage Garden; Keeping Your Harvest Fresh; Honey Bees & Beekeeping;   and Tree Preservation.    Chef Kocoa of Kocoa’s Kitchen and author of Cooking with Kocoa prepared delicious, seasonal recipes using local ingredients.  A “Kids Corner” was also set up to educate youth on community gardens, worm composting and planting seedlings.

The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development looks forward to more events of this type with our partners, in the future.  For more information about the Cook County Urban Agricultural Network, the Community Garden Program and a more complete listing of our Partnerships,  please to go our website:

2 Responses

  1. Pingback : Deborah Stone

  2. Julie Wollner

    Toni Preckwinkle; You are a star!! I heard your comments today regarding the need for the new tax on tobacco & alcohol products and also your regret at having to lay off people. The manner in which you
    said a few words describing the situation you came into as the new board president was superb! I also recently heard your discussion regarding
    ways in which to reduce the prisoner population at Cook County Jail; thus saving millions of dollars. Your no nonsense approach to serious problems and your ability to express these ideas makes you a top notch
    executive! I would vote for you for president of the U.S.but I hope you
    will be Cook County Board president for a long time! You had my vote and you will have my vote! Sincerely, Julie Wollner

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