Forest Preserve District of Cook County

July 12, 2021

Would you steal a meal from a butterfly? Picking wildflowers means less food for insects and birds, and fewer seeds to grow the next generation of wildflowers.

The collection of mushrooms, plants, animals or any natural or cultural item is prohibited in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. With over 5 million residents in Cook County and an estimated 62 million visits to the Forest Preserves each year, allowing foraging or collecting in forest preserves is not ecologically sustainable.

Your forest preserves cannot handle the damage from illegal foraging and we’ve even seen foragers completely wipe out local plant populations at some preserves. Please help us preserve these natural areas for the plants and animals that depend on them, and for future generations that deserve to enjoy healthy and diverse woodlands, prairies and wetlands.

Foraging or collecting in the Forest Preserves is punishable with a fine of up to $500. If you see someone removing plants, mushrooms or other items from the Forest Preserves, please do not approach them and call our non-emergency police number at 708-771-1000.

Forest Preserve District of Cook County