cunningham-031313An effort to expand and preserve open lands in suburban Cook County was approved by the Illinois State Senate, thanks to a bill sponsored by newly elected Senator Bill Cunningham (D - 18th Dist.) Senate Bill 1499 gives the Cook County Forest Preserve District the power to acquire land by easement, which will enable the district to enter into voluntary agreements with businesses, utilities and local governments to acquire patches of open land and incorporate them into the Forest Preserve green belt.

Under current law, every other forest preserve district in the state of Illinois can acquire land by easement. But Cook County has to purchase any land it acquires, which creates high costs for tax payers and limits the expansion of the Cook County Forest Preserve. If Cunningham's bill becomes law, the county will be able to expand its Forest Preserve for virtually no costs through the easement process. 
“Cook County is one of the most urbanized counties in the nation. With this legislation, there will be a stronger effort to create and preserve open space,” said Cunningham. "Protecting and expanding Forest Preserves and park land will always be among my top priorities in the General Assembly."

Cunningham's senate district stretches across the Southwest suburbs and Southwest side of Chicago and includes some of Cook County's largest tracks of Forest Preserve in Palos and Orland Township.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
307 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5145
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