How do you rehab a chunk of the forest preserve? Neighbors of Dwight H. Perkins Woods, on Evanston’s northwest side, are about to find out.

Larry Suffredin, himself a neighbor as well as a Cook County Forest Preserve District Commissioner, is hosting a public forum next week on upcoming improvements for the land.

The forum is scheduled for Sept. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Lincolnwood Elementary School, 2600 Colfax St., which is adjacent and just to the east of the preserve.

Noting that the forest preserve system was conceived at a meeting at Perkins’ house on Lincoln Street nearly 100 years ago, “I would like to take this opportunity to invite the public to a meeting to discuss refurbishing the trails and a restoration program that will remove diseased and invasive trees at Dwight H. Perkins Woods,” Suffredin said in a news release.

“This work should make Dwight H. Perkins Woods safer and an improved location to see increasing numbers of native trees, flowers, and plants,” he added.

Perkins Woods is the only holding of the Forest Preserve District in Evanston.  The mission of the district. Suffredin noted, “is to protect and preserve the natural forests and lands, together with their flora and fauna, as nearly as may be, in their natural state and condition, for the purpose of the education, pleasure, and recreation of the public.”

Neighborhood lore has it that the commissioners were so grateful to Perkins for his help in founding the district that they asked him to select a parcel of land near his Evanston home, before the area was built up, that would be purchased by the district and named in his honor.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. What about diseased parkway trees?

    I am having a very hard time just getting the city to trim some diseased trees on the parkway before my home. So now we are going to turn our attention to the natural wooded areas in the city. Why not leave them alone and not try to "improve" everything?

  2. This has nothing to do with the city

    Your comment is irrelevant to the story.  The Forest Preserve is under county jurisdiction and has nothing to do with city tree planting.

  3. Public Forum was a complete waste of our time

    Despite the fact that Commissioner Suffredin said he held this forum to get the public's input on the "improvements" to the Dwight Perkins Forest Preserve, and the fact that absolutely no one in attendance supported the plan for a 10-foot-wide concrete "path" that bisects the 71/2 acres of woods, and the fact that several knowledgeable, experienced, and caring people in the room had alternate ideas to avoid a 10-foot- wide concrete path, Mr. Suffredin said he had heard "nothing in the discussions to change his mind" and he will continue to support the plan when it comes to a vote this week.  He also said bids had already gone out to do the work, making the whole evening a complete waste of everyone's time.

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