National Geographic : 1967 Sep
"No small-hearted city...could have established it or made the sacrifices necessary to maintain it." That's what Frank Lloyd Wright said about the vast and wonderful system of forest preserves now bordering the city of Chicago. Sacrifices there certainly were, par ticularly during the frustrating years of struggle by public-spirited citizens to gain official approval for acquiring land for parks and playgrounds. Dwight H. Perkins, a Chi cago resident with no po litical power or special influence, was one of the prime movers in the cru sade to educate the public on the importance of preserv ing the forest areas in Cook County. Perkins and his friends en listed the support of newspapers, talked to officials and leading business men, printed and distributed thousands of leaflets, even conducted walking tours of the woodlands outside the city to give more people a first-hand knowledge of the natural beauty that could be pre served for themselves and future generations. Although many Chi cagoans were impressed and in favor, an incred ible number of legal and official roadblocks thwarted the program time and again. Public Acts were passed, then defeated, rewritten and defeated Again by wrangles over technicali ties that went on for 20 years. Eventually, however, the For est Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois was firmly established. As a result, today DWIGHT H. PERKINS Chicago has more wild land within easy reach of its citizens than any other large city in the U.S. -a priceless gift that frees the city dweller from his straightjacket of cement to breathe deeper and restore his spirit in the woodlands at the end of the street. Sinclair has long been dedicated to conserving America's natural re sources and wants to en courage private citizens to take a more active part in preserving our national heritage. For a booklet describing what others have done and how you can help, write Sinclair Tour Bureau, 600 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10020. Also include your request for information about touring to any scenic landmarks you wish to visit. Discover America by car-it's worth seeing and saving.