The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) filed its 2012 land acquisition plan with the Board of Commissioners October 3rd. The District’s previous land acquisition plan was published in 1994 and updated in 2000. Earlier this summer, the District issued its first General Obligation Alternate Bonds in 8 years, resulting in roughly $25 million in new funding for land acquisition. These funds will be used to make strategic land acquisitions to fill the gaps in the greenway and trail system, protect high-quality natural areas and habitats, and expand opportunities for outdoor education and recreation.
“The Forest Preserve has the opportunity to stretch its purchasing power in the current real estate buyer’s market. Making use of partnerships and strategic acquisitions, we hope to come closer to reaching our statutory limit of 75,000 acres in the next ten years,”
Forest Preserve District of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “This updated plan will help guide our investment and enhance our ability to capitalize on rare opportunities to acquire lands that will further fulfill our mission. “ This plan was developed over the past year with input from a special Land Acquisition Advisory Committee made up of leaders from government and non-profit organizations as well as real estate and finance experts. Local planners and park managers were also interviewed to get their ideas about land acquisition opportunities. “While this new plan builds on many of the recommendations that were found in earlier versions, there are also some substantial additions. For example, it reflects a willingness to consider smaller sites, especially those in underserved areas,” said Forest Preserve District of Cook County General Superintendent Arnold Randall. “It also calls for new use of technology to update the acquisition evaluation process.”
The new plan is available for viewing online at http://fpdcc.com/land-acquisition-plan/.