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The Forest Glen Metra Station is one of only two within the city limits to give direct access to the Forest Preserve of Cook County. The Southern extension of the North Trail which is scheduled to open in September 2016, will allow access from Forest Glen to a system of trails extending all the way to the Skokie Lagoons and the Chicago Botanic Garden. In 1917 Captain Hazelton sold the land where his house stood to the Forest Preserve and the house was moved to the other side of the street.
Ever since the formation of the Boulevard system in the 1880s and the Columbian Exposition in 1893, nature had always been an integral part of Chicago’s urban plans, as seen in the enduring vision of the 1909 Burnham and Bennett Plan for Chicago. The Forest Preserve District Act of 1911 extended the care for natural resources to the preservation of existing forests and natural lands. Captain Hazelton’s land was part of the 21,000 acres that the District acquired between 1916 and 1922.
In Forest Glen, there is a strong community connection with the natural environment. The close proximity of the forest and the pride for individual back yards and front yards together with a strong neighborhood spirit has allowed the organization of a biennial Garden Walk, and the collective landscaping effort of land owned by Metra around the Forest Glen train station and parking lot. The extension of the North Trail will open the neighborhood to bikers and hikers from the whole region, who will be able to benefit from the environmental stewardship that four generations of Forest Glen families have shown for their public spaces.