Community Overview

The City of Oak Forest is on the fast track to becoming one of the premier suburbs in southwest Cook County.  Nestled among picturesque forest preserves and just 24 miles from downtown Chicago, Oak Forest offers something for everyone – from the nature enthusiast to the urban explorer, from the small business owner to the chief executive officer, from the lifelong resident to the new kid on the block.  Oak Forest is a community where anything is possible.  Take a ride…see what Oak Forest has to offer.

Celebrating affordable and diverse neighborhoods
Oak Forest is a family-oriented community with long-term residents and small-town charm.  In fact, those who grew up here often return “home” to raise their own families in one of the city’s affordable and diverse neighborhoods.  These neighborhoods have tremendous visual appeal due to the creeks, wetlands and other water bodies that flow into the surrounding forest preserves.  Compared to neighboring towns, Oak Forest offers less hustle and bustle – allowing you to live at your own pace.

Providing top-notch community facilities and recreational programs
When looking for a little fun or community atmosphere, most resident head down Central Avenue – the heart of the city’s family, recreational and civic life.  Central Avenue is home to City Hall, the Acorn Public Library, Oak Forest High School, and the Oak Forest Park District.  With 20 neighborhood parks, a full-service health and fitness center, and a wide-range of leisure and educational programs, the park district offers residents miles of opportunity to connect with neighbors, live a healthy lifestyle and try something new. Oak Forest is also home to the George W. Dunne National Golf Course.  Recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top public courses, this 18-hole course offers unique features, including bent grass fairways and greens, lakes, tree-lined fairways, and an abundance of wildlife.  In addition, the walking, biking and equestrian paths in the forest preserves provide free, year-round recreation for residents.

Delivering positive results through exceptional schools
Whether your little one is a kindergarten graduate or a college graduate, educational opportunities abound in Oak Forest.  In fact, there are six public school districts that serve residents. Of these school districts, four have schools located within the boundaries of Oak Forest. These include seven pre-elementary and elementary schools, two junior high schools and one high school. There are also three private schools within Oak Forest, including St. Damian Catholic School, a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School. Higher education is provided at South Suburban College University and College Center and the Moraine Valley College District.  Clearly, Oak Forest has what it takes to help students pave the road to success.    

Enriching community spirit through faith-based organizations
In addition to recreational programs and local schools, residents can discover the spirit of community at one of the many faith-based organizations in Oak Forest.  These institutions provide more than just a place to pray, they offer fellowship, healing and community support.  No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, you’ll find that Oak Forest is the city that moves you to a higher level. 

Offering residents first-rate services and leadership
When you are a resident of Oak Forest, you can rest assured that elected officials and staff are doing all they can to keep the city moving in the right direction.  In fact, the city’s promise to you is to provide local government that is honest, accountable, efficient, and forward-thinking.  As part of that promise, the city offers valuable services and resources, such as free community bus service for seniors and disabled residents, an efficient waste management program, a user-friendly Web site, a responsive Public Works Department, and exceptional customer service at City Hall.  In addition, the Oak Forest Fire Department provides 24-hour fire protection, paramedic service and emergency response while the Oak Forest Police Department proudly protects and serves the residents and businesses of Oak Forest. 

Helping residents reach their destinations
The wide-range of transportation options in Oak Forest provides residents and business owners with easy access to both the excitement of the city and the relaxation of the suburbs.  Commuters and shoppers alike can take advantage of 24/7 access to downtown Chicago and all points in-between on the Metra trains that depart regularly from the commuter station at 159th Street and Cicero Avenue.  The station is served by four commuter parking lots with more than 1,000 parking spaces.  The Pace bus system also shuttles commuters to and from the station with convenient morning, afternoon and evening routes.

In addition, the area surrounding the commuter station is currently being transformed into a vibrant retail and residential development that is sure to become the city’s main hub.  Those who prefer to drive to their destinations will enjoy the convenience of several nearby interstates, including I-57, I-80 and I-294.  Oak Forest is also served by U.S. Route 6 and State Routes 43 (Harlem Avenue) and 50 (Cicero Avenue).

Supporting a thriving business community
Oak Forest provides a strong environment for residential, commercial and industrial development. The city continually strives to enhance its economic vitality and superior quality of life by ensuring top-notch development and redevelopment, protecting its natural resources, supporting its business community, and maintaining attractive neighborhoods.  The city also works closely with the Oak Forest Chamber of Commerce, which serves more than 175 local professionals, businesses, organizations, and government entities on economic development efforts. 

Welcoming you home
Whether you’re a lifetime resident, a new resident or a potential resident, we hope you discover all that Oak Forest has to offer.  We invite you to become a part of our rich history and our exciting future.  The time is now to explore Oak Forest’s scenic neighborhoods, community programs, excellent schools, and quality city services.  Don’t be left behind.  Reach your destination – the City of Oak Forest – today!