Studio Outside assisted the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois, in the evaluation and master planning of their camp portfolio. Of their total 87,000 acre holdings in the Chicago area, across several hundred different sites, the District offers a broad diversity of possible camp experiences. Currently the planning team has completed a series of in-depth assessments. These assessments included multiple tours of the land holdings, discovery sessions with Forest Preserve staff, and identifying opportunity sites. Recently, over 70 stakeholders were interviewed to discern program and usage patterns, as well as identifying potential partnerships. Next steps include finalizing a program strategy and market study. Multiple venues of public outreach are in process, including online surveys and various public forums across the county, ensuring a plan rooted in the needs of the community. Based on a foundation of discovery and public input, a comprehensive program approach will be developed that anticipates future needs. The plan celebrates the diversity of Preserve ecosystems and attract new visitor groups to enjoy preserve lands. Programs will include day camps, traditional overnight camping, and nature study – all capitalizing on and leveraging connections to existing Forest Preserve district venues.
2013 Honor Award Planning and Analysis Texas Chapter ASLA