memorial bench
Sarah Dennis sits on the bench dedicated to the memory of her mother.

Tree and Bench Donations ​

By dedicating a tree or bench in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, you can honor the memory of a family member or friend, commemorate a special anniversary, or celebrate a new beginning by making a gift that will last for years to come. All tree and bench donors receive an engraved leaf on one of our beautiful handcrafted wooden Giving Trees located at the Forest Preserves headquarters in River Forest and the Little Red Schoolhouse in Willow Springs.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County has more than 340 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Along these trails, a bench offers a place to rest, reflect and take in the surroundings. Donating a bench helps to beautify the trails and creates a special place to celebrate a loved one or an important event. Benches are constructed using recycled materials.
DEDICATE A BENCH: The dedicated bench is installed at the donor’s choice adjacent to trails and parking areas at select locations in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The bench is made of recycled plastic and comes ​affixed with a plaque. If desired, a notification letter will be sent to the honoree or the honoree’s family.

A donation of $3,000 covers the cost of the bench, installation and maintenance. Benches are installed July through October, dependent upon installation schedules, weather and site conditions.

ADOPT A BENCH: Personal dedication plaques can be added to an existing Forest Preserves of Cook County bench for $1,000. Plaques are installed yearround as weather permits.

Donors may renew and replace the plaque for 10 years for an additional $1,000. Or donors may maintain the current plaque as is for 10 years at a cost of $500.

ADOPT A TREE: Support an existing tree and the maintenance of area around the tree with a donation of $500. Donors will receive recognition on the donor wall (same language as others), and a personalized memorial certificate sent to their home. A temporary sign recognizing the donor or the honored loved one will be placed by the tree.

Scheduling Tree Dedications
​​- Dedicated trees are planted in the spring and in the fall.
– To plant a tree in the spring season, orders must be placed by March 1.
– To plant a tree in the fall season, orders must be placed by Aug. 1.

Please call 312-603-8349 for more information. Bench locations must be confirmed by Forest Preserves’ staff prior to making your donation. Upon confirmation, payment will be accepted via check or credit card.

Tree Dedication Levels 
We offer two tree dedication levels:

Level 1 ($1,200): Donor gets choice of tree species and location (requires Forest Preserve staff approval); tree diameter at time of planting is 2 inches; leaf plaque duration is 10 years.

Level 2 ($850): Forest Preserve chooses tree species and location; tree diameter at time of planting is 1 inch; leaf plaque duration is five years.

All tree dedication donations cover the cost of the tree and its planting, care for the first 5 years, and a framed certificate mailed to the honoree. An engraved leaf plaque will be placed on a donor board at a nature center for 5 or 10 years, depending on dedication level, with the option for renewal. Trees remain dedicated for the life of the plant.

​Tree Species Available for Dedication
Native tree species available for dedication include: American Basswood (American Linden), American Beech (spring only), American Sycamore, Blue Beech (American Hornbeam), Bur Oak (spring only), Triumph Elm, Honey Locust, Kentucky Coffee, Northern Hackberry (spring only), Red Maple, River Birch (spring only), and Sugar Maple.

Please call 312-603-8349 for more information. Tree species and location(s) must be confirmed by Forest Preserves’ staff prior to making your donation. Upon confirmation, payment will be accepted via check or credit card.

Planting
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