The desecration of the Cook County Forest Preserves

By John Ruberry

One respite from the hectic way of life in Chicago and its suburbs are the 70,000 acres that comprise the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. I run on trails there that are near my home. I take nature photos there. Others walk, ride bicycles, or just sit and collect their thoughts. Some picnic in the preserves, whether it’s a family or a group of hundreds.

On there is a seamy side too. Some parking lots at the preserves are popular spots for romantic hookups, once in a while some of those large picnics turn violent, occasionally the bodies of murder victims are dumped there, and the Forest Preserve District has a reputation of hiring otherwise unemployable Democratic Party patronage workers. Charles “Cap” Sauer ran the preserves for years. He once confided to Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko about some of his workers, “They know that if they are going to receive a day’s pay, they must give me at least a half a day’s work.”

Despite little or no evidence that outdoor activities pose COVID-19 risks, the FPDCC is making using the preserves more difficult and less enjoyable for the owners of them, that is taxpayers, even though exercise is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. 

Many forest preserve parking lots, which are often strewn with potholes, are closed on weekends and even daily in some cases because of alleged overcrowding. Oh, if a parking lot is full, drivers do what? They leave. Public washrooms are closed. Where are people supposed to relieve themselves? As a runner, I know how to, let’s say, improvise a short distance from a trail. Let’s say you’d like to sit down during a long walk and you don’t care to plop down on the grass. There’s a rare bench here and there but during normal times people find a picnic table. At most of the preserves near me the tables are now stacked. wrapped in police tape, and barricaded by snow fences. There are “snitch signs” placed all through the preserves asking those full-bladdered visitors to rat-out large groups. Even though for most people their forest preserve experience is a solitary one, as it is with me, or it’s done in twos-or-threes.

Story continues below the photograph.

Barricaded picnic shelter with stacked tables at St. Paul Woods Forest Preserve

Water fountains have not been turned back on after being shut off last year for the winter. Yes, today is the last day of May. Oh, there is no shortage of FPDCC workers–none have been laid off.

Those most revealing sign is one outside St. Paul Woods here in Morton Grove. “Keep it moving. No picnicking. No congregating.” Or as Dean Wormer famously phrased it in Animal House, “No more fun of any kind.”

How did it come to this situation? Yeah, I know, the coronavirus outbreak. Cook County has over 5 million residents. There have been 45,000 confirmed cases of it in Cook with about 2,100 confirmed deaths. And of course most of those fatalities consist of people who were already quite ill.

But we got here because Cook County voters elected a hardened leftist,  Chicago Democrat Toni Preckwinkle, as president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Part of that job is overseeing the Forest Preserve District. Leftists remind me of the smug titular character in the underrated Coen Brothers movie Barton Fink. He loves “the people” but Fink doesn’t like people. The same goes with Preckwinkle and other leftists in government. And their idea of government is that we are a government with a people, not the other way around. 

These are their woods, not ours.

Stay out of my parking lot! 

Stay away from other people! 

No water fountains for you!

Hold your bladders!

No more fun of any kind!

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Five Riotous Thoughts Under the Fedora

If you had to pick the most significant bit of news concerning the riots over the last few days I’d pick the fact that this tweet

Was followed by this one:

Anyone who presumes these officials will not try to spin this to protect their voter base is a fool.


I found this bit of news significant as well:

Because these people who have destroyed business and jobs deserve the money much more than owners of small business’ who lost everything.

I have an odd suspicion that none of their homes or business are threatened by riots and that the people who protect them are armed. FYI, When I told DaWife she wanted the list so productions including them could be avoided in the future. It will be interesting to see how sponsors of their shows will be treated as well.


I’ll bet real money that on TV shows and in movies over the next few years the armed protesters, condemned by the MSM & CNN who protested the lockdowns will be portrayed as violent villains in TV shows all over the networks and streaming services by Hollywood scriptwriters of film and TV.

Alas while that will be a more popular choice for the Hollywood left than portraying this week’s rioters as criminals in drama it will be a more expensive one too because while you only have to turn on a TV to find extensive footing of riots, arson and pillage from these “protests” that the media support you can search high and low on the internet and you won’t find any footage of the reopen protesters doing any of this.

Unexpectedly of course.


This would seem to be a bad visual for a union leadership:

While I suspect the rank and file might have different ideas I think the cities & taxpayers in question should keep that news in mind next time these unions look for a raise.


Finally I have a relative who lives in the Minneapolis St. Paul Area who I’ve known since he was born. He is a big lib and despises Donald Trump. I sent him a DM inquiring about the well being of him , his kids etc. He and all of his are safe but…

the plaza we shop at by our house (Target, CVS, etc) all looted, burned down, destroyed etc.)

Side note. With the bullshit coverage of the riot by the MSM and the non action of MN leadership during the RIOTS I’ll wait in line for hours in a mask and vote for Trump in November.

I don’t think this is having the political result the left/media think it is going to have