Openlands actively engages all neighbors of the Preserve to educate and pursue cooperative agreements in an effort to promote and realize shared interests. The most immediate neighbors include Navy Housing residents and the Town of Fort Sheridan residents represented by the Fort Sheridan Master Homeowners Association. As part of this engagement, Openlands staff conducts formal and informal outreach to community groups, neighbors, and site users in order to generate awareness about both the Preserve and Openlands.
Openlands’ goal for homeowner engagement includes seeking new partners to maximize the protection of the Preserve as well as to provide adjacent landowners with best management practices to protect the Preserve from impacts. External impacts can include invasive species, and encroachment of the Lakeshore Preserve by existing neighbors.
To help mitigate these issues, Openlands has established a Homeowner’s Guide to promote awareness, identify opportunities, and establish practices for being a responsible neighbor to the Lakeshore Preserve. Additional considerations include management of invasive species through mowing and other maintenance practices such as proper lawn care, yard waste disposal techniques, buffer maintenance practices, and drainage and planting considerations to help preserve and steward the Preserves rare ecosystems.