Friends of the Parks

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Friends of the Parks (FOTP) is a non-profit organization in Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1975, it acts as a watchdog group and environmental advocate for the Chicago area. Specifically, it monitors the condition and safety of the Chicago Park District and the forest preserves of Cook County.

FOTP's office is in downtown Chicago. Its staff of approximately eight people relies on volunteer efforts for many of its activities.

Annual events organized by FOTP include the LATE Ride, an overnight bicycling event in July where thousands of riders travel through city streets; Earth Day Parks and Preserves Clean-up, mobilizing several thousand volunteers on a single day in April to beautify and clean over 100 Chicago area locations; and a black tie ball which features a charity auction.

FOTP assists in educating the public regarding environmental matters. It provides environmental education programs for Chicago students through two programs: Nature Along the Lake (NAL) for elementary students, and the Earth Team, an after-school apprenticeship program for high school students.

FOTP encourages grassroots efforts to organize local park organizations and acts as a liaison for organizing volunteer events to maintain and improve Chicago area parks, forest preserves, and other greenspace.

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