Swallow Cliff Pavilion, Second Stair Set Now Open in Palos Region
Monday, June 27, 2016
Special to suffredin.org
by Cook County Forest Preserve
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Swallow Cliff Woods on Saturday, June 25, Forest Preserves of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was joined by Palos Park Mayor John Mahoney, Chief Operating Officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health Dr. Terry Mason, Forest Preserves of Cook County General Superintendent Arnold Randall, and former 17th District Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Doody-Gorman, celebrated the official grand opening of the new Swallow Cliff Pavilion and second set of stairs.
Best known for its dramatic “front lawn,” Swallow Cliff Woods has long offered visitors stunning scenic views and numerous amenities, now including the new Pavilion and second stair set.
“Following the Forest Preserves’ three-year Centennial Celebration, we have been looking ahead to the next century by developing new ways to engage residents of Cook County,” said President Preckwinkle. “That plan has included adding new amenities and recreation opportunities, as well as enhancing offerings already available in the Forest Preserves. We want to get people outdoors and hopefully create long-lasting connections to nature and the Forest Preserves”
“One of the goals of the Forest Preserves is to increase visitors to the preserves, and to showcase the many wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities close to home,” said General Superintendent Arnold Randall. “Swallow Cliff has long been a popular destination for individuals looking to exercise. This project now provides them the opportunity to complete a fitness circuit using the two sets of stairs. Following a work-out, they can head over to the Swallow Cliff Café to enjoy a healthy snack or beverage.”
The new Swallow Cliff Pavilion offers indoor rental space, a warming shelter and restrooms, as well as the Swallow Cliff Café where visitors can purchase a variety of grab-and-go snacks and beverages from Vamoose Café.
Considered a Cook County Department of Public Health “Healthy HotSpot,” Swallow Cliff provides residents of Cook County the opportunity to engage in healthy recreation activities including the jogging, running and walking along the nearby trails and using the stairs. The new stair set at Swallow Cliff enables visitors to complete a circuit using 293 total steps.
“In collaboration with many partners, like the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Cook County Department of Public Health aims to build healthy places, called Healthy HotSpots, which make healthy living easier for residents of Cook County. The Forest Preserves are Healthy HotSpots because they provide opportunities to connect with nature and outdoor recreation,” said Dr. Terry Mason, chief operating officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health. “Through providing direct contact with nature, connection with others, and opportunities for physical activity – like the stairs here at Swallow Cliff - the Forest Preserves can enhance our well-being and be powerful catalysts for better health.”
The cost of the Swallow Cliff Pavilion is approximately $1.5 million, and the cost of the second set of stairs is approximately $750,000. Funding for the projects came General Obligation Bonds issued in June 2012 for the purpose of funding land acquisition and capital improvement projects.
Additionally, the Forest Preserves of Cook County was awarded a High Performance Green Building Program grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, which supported the design and installation of green building features for the Swallow Cliff Pavilion.
To learn more about the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visit fpdcc.com.
About the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Established in 1915, the Forest Preserves of Cook County is one of the oldest and largest forest preserve systems in the nation, maintaining nearly 70,000 acres of open land for the education, pleasure and recreation of the public. The agency strives to protect and restore the county's diverse ecosystems, so all our unique native plants and animals can live and thrive. Each year, millions of people use these lands and facilities to enjoy or study nature, bicycle, hike, fish, cross-country ski, picnic, golf, canoe, or simply relax in a large preserve that leaves urban life behind. For more information, visit fpdcc.com.