This map shows the location of five proposed campgrounds in Cook County, Illinois.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) in Chicago recently completed a master planning process for developing and operating camping programs and facilities on FPDCC-owned properties.

The master planning process to this point includes soliciting public input through focus groups and public hearings, developing tentative capital development/ improvement and programming budgets and plans and securing FY2013 funding, according to Tom Kruse, special projects consultant to the district.

The total estimated cost for the project is $28.6 million, with the bulk of that or $19.1 million to be spent in 2013.

Among other projects, the Master Plan for Camp Program & Facilities calls for developing and improving overnight camping facilities at five locations within Cook County: Camp Pine Woods, Camp Reinberg, Camp Bullfrog Lake, Camp Sullivan/Falcon and Shabbona Woods (see map).

FPDCC is now in the process of implementing the Camping Programs & Facilities Master Plan, including soliciting RFQ for Architect/Engineering Services. Project construction is anticipated to commence in early 2013, with some projects to be completed by summer 2013, Kruse said.

Along with developing the physical aspects of the master plan, FPDCC may be soliciting proposals for “Campground Operation & Management Services” from qualified vendors/contractors or inter-governmental agreements (IGAs) with local park districts/municipalities, Kruse said.

“Ideally, we would be looking for FPDCC to retain ownership and overall control of the properties, including public interface and camping reservations; site inspections and supervision; general maintenance and repair; and FPDCC Police patrols,” Kruse continued. “The vendors/contractors or park districts/municipalities would provide (as specified in the RFP) public check-in and 24-hour supervision, daily maintenance, cleaning  and minor repairs and concessionaire and subcontractor contract management.”

For more information, visit http://fpdcc.com/camping/.