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FOREST PARK, ILLINOIS July 10, 2023 – The Village of Forest Park has been awarded a Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. The Village of Forest Park is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

The Village of Forest Park was incorporated on April 17, 1907.  It is a Village in Cook County, Illinois with a population of 14,339 residents.  The Forest Park Municipal Arboretum consists of 1,536 acres of land that incorporate 71 different species of trees that range from 48% Maple trees to .03% Yew trees.  The goal for the Village of Forest Park is to preserve it’s current Arboretum and to continue diversifying it in the years to come.

Being recognized as a member of ArbNet is a great honor and is just one of many ways Forest Park is moving forward in preserving and embracing its arboretum.

The Village of Forest Park is a near-west suburb to the City of Chicago.  Forest Park has been well known for having the statistic of a 30:1 ratio of dead to alive people due to the presence of several cemeteries within its municipal boundaries.  Other claims to fame for the Village were a popular amusement park in the early 1900s, a woman’s professional softball/baseball team in the 1950s, an elephant burial ground that was due to a circus catching fire while traveling through town, the annual No-Gloves 16” Softball Tournament and the home to the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument.  The Village of Forest Park has that small community feel with a thriving downtown area full of shops and eating establishments.  It is also minutes away from Downtown Chicago, allowing one to travel by car or via two different “L” trains to the city center.  Having a beautiful and diverse arboretum shows the community the Village cares about nature and the environment, but also shows that they promote health and well-being.

About ArbNet
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet its institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity, and professionalism. Standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting, and conservation. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.


Partial Closures on Jackson Blvd – Wednesday, May 31

On Wednesday, May 31st, starting at 7am until the work is completed, Jackson Blvd from Desplaines to Madison Street will allow limited traffic in order to install a new water main into the 7700 block of Wilcox.

Jackson Blvd will be closed westbound at Desplaines, but limited traffic will be allowed to travel eastbound on Jackson in order to exit to Desplaines Ave.

Jackson Blvd will be closed southbound at Madison but limited traffic will be allowed to travel northbound on Jackson in order to exit at Madison St.

Residents in the 7600 blocks will still be able to exit at Jackson Blvd.

Electronics Recycling Week

Electronics Recycling Week will take place from Monday, May 22 to Saturday, May 27.

7:00am to 3:30pm at Forest Park Public Works- 7343 West 15th St.

Public Works Personnel will be out all week removing bulk items on your parkway (no later than Saturday, May 27).

For a list of acceptable items, please click here.

Community Alert

For Immediate Release

April 28, 2023

For Immediate Release

Contact: Detective Lieutenant Pater

Contact Number: 708-615-6229

Shots Fired – 400 block of Beloit Ave

On April 28, 2023 at approximately 1:45 am, Forest Park Police responded to the 400 block of Beloit Ave for a report of gun shots fired in the area.  Responding officers were able to locate the target of the shooting, who was not injured and was uncooperative with officers. 

At this time it appears the shooter and target are known to each other and this incident does not appear to be a random act.  There is no reason to believe there is an imminent threat to the community.     

Forest Park Police Criminal Investigations Division personnel are actively investigating this incident. Anyone with information regarding this investigation, please contact the Forest Park Police Department at (709)366-2425 or email at Detectives@ForestPark.net.

Forest Park Celebrates National Arbor Day

This year, National Arbor Day is Friday, April 28.  For the fourth time, Forest Park will be celebrating by planting a tree. This year, the tree will be planted at the Forest Park Public Library, on the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Des Plaines Avenue. 

Community members are invited to join the Village of Forest Park, the Recreation Board and the Forest Park Public Library to watch the Forest Park Public Works Department plant a Cornelian-cherry dogwood tree and enjoy a short ceremony at 9 am on Friday, April 28. 

 “We’re so honored to have been selected as the recipients of one of the Village’s Arbor Day tree plantings,” said Vicki Rakowski, Library Director at the Forest Park Public Library. “We know this tree is going to provide decades of joy to all who visit the library, and are proud to be included in Forest Park’s efforts to keep our village green and beautiful.”

 The Village of Forest Park will be on hand to pass out information and milkweed packets. There will also be a participatory art project that community members are invited to take part in at the Library. 

 Arbor Day has been celebrated in the US since 1872 and is marked by the planting of trees and emphasizing caring for them as a way to sustainably protect the environment. 

 In 2020, Forest Park was designated an official Tree City USA community with the Arbor Day Foundation. This designation includes having a tree board or department, putting a tree care ordinance into place, having a community forestry program and annually observing and adopting an Arbor Day proclamation.

 “Our annual Arbor Day celebration and Tree City, USA designation means we’re taking action to protect and honor the impact trees have on our health, stormwater management, and property values,” said Forest Park Commissioner Jessica Voogd. “We all benefit from cleaner air, shadier streets, and the aesthetic beauty a well-maintained urban forest provides.”

 In previous years, a tree has been planted at the Park District of Forest Park and at Garfield Elementary School.

 Tree program info 

Village of Forest Park Tree Inventory – GIS Map

 2022 Village of Forest Park Urban Forestry Management Plan (PDF)

In 2022, the Village of Forest Park compiled a full GIS Tree Inventory, along with a Forestry Comprehensive Management Plan. The Village is excited to finally be able to tap into these valuable resources and move forward with their tree planting goals. Our seasonal tree planting locations will be based on an arborist’s recommendation and our management plan. Residents may request a tree. There are a limited number of available trees per season, so it is advised to submit a request as early as possible. Please visit The Village of Forest Park’s GIS tree map. The black circles with the blue pins inside represent open planting spaces. If your location falls within these areas, and trees are still available for that season, the Village will plant the tree at no charge.

If the village has reached their limit for that planting season, or your parkway is not listed as an available space, you may request to purchase a tree from the Preferred Species List as set forth in the Urban Forest Management Plan. 

Upon approval from the Director of Public Works, the village will plant the tree and provide a watering bag. All those interested should email the Director of Public Works at sstella@forestpark.net. You will be sent a tree list to pick from. Any requests that can not be met that season will be considered for the next planting season in the order they were received.

Using Mobile Phones to Send Text Message to 911 During Emergencies ~Text-to-911 Program~

Many residents may be able to use their mobile phones to send text messages to 911 during emergencies. The ‘Text-to-911’ service is available to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon customers living in or traveling through the West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch service area, which serves the villages of Forest Park, Oak Park and River Forest.

This service is especially beneficial for individuals with speech or hearing impairments. For more information about this service, including how and when it should be used, click HERE to view the Fact Sheet