Acquisition and Planning

Openlands advances regional land conservation in key priority areas throughout northeastern Illinois and beyond. We do this through building strategic partnerships, supporting planning efforts and offering technical assistance, and engaging elected officials and empowering advocates. In the most direct way, we will buy key parcels of land, ensuring they are permanently protected as open space, wildlife habitat, trails, parks, and other community assets. Our key focus areas include Hackmatack National Wildlife RefugeMidewin National Tallgrass Prairie, and supporting forest preserves and conservation districts across the region.

As a technical assistance provider, Openlands provides a wide range of comprehensive real estate services including:

  • Negotiating and structuring innovative and cost-effective transactions;
  • Arranging and managing the due diligence process, including appraisals, environmental site assessments, and title and land survey work;
  • Providing interim financing and serving as an interim landowner;
  • Assembling multiple parcels, including land secured from tax sales, to form large open space.

Over the past thirty years, Openlands has assisted nearly 100 government entities—from U.S. Department of the Interior, to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), to Lockport Township Park District, as well as many cities, villages, and townships—in preserving public open space.

For more information on open space protection, please contact or call 312.863.6250.