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Keep safety in mind as you visit the preserves

Valuables left in plain sight inside a parked vehicle
(Photo via Shutterstock)

With mild temperatures arriving this winter and spring fast approaching, the Forest Preserve District is reminding visitors to keep safety in mind as they are out on the trails or visiting preserve access areas and visitor centers. 

Here are some important tips for staying safe: 

  • Keep your cell phone with you at all times. If there is an emergency, dial 911. If you need to reach Forest Preserve District police for a nonemergency situation, dial 815-727-6191 (option 9) and save this number in your phone contacts.
  • If you see suspicious activity, call immediately to have a Forest Preserve officer sent to your Will County preserve location.
  • If there is an incident, be a good witness by getting a description, location, direction of travel and license plate number, if possible.
  • Do not leave valuables in view in your vehicle. Put them in the trunk prior to your arrival, or leave them at home.
  • While using the trails, travel with a partner whenever possible. If you choose to travel alone, always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Know your location and be aware of your surroundings. If you listen to music, keep the volume low and have only one earbud in so you can hear traffic and other trail users.
  • Be in your vehicle before dark. Forest preserves close at sunset. 

Forest Preserve police monitor the preserves to assist the public and to enforce state law and District regulations. They patrol the preserves and trails by vehicle, bicycle, ATV and foot. The District also trains volunteer trail sentinels to assist the police and members of the public when possible. For information on becoming a trail sentinel, contact Emily Kenny, the Forest Preserve's volunteer supervisor, at 815-722-7364 or email [email protected].

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