Notices and Alerts

Construction Complete in Bartlett Ravine

Construction work in Bartlett Ravine at the north end of the Lakeshore Preserve is complete. Both stairwells to the ravine are re-opened for access to the lakeshore. Restoration work continues in Shenck Ravine at the southern end of the Lakeshore Preserve. Please be careful around the construction equipment and please do not wander into the ravine at this point. Van Horne Ravine, located in the center of the Preserve, is in the stewardship phase and remains a delicate ecosystem.

Please be mindful of new plantings as you visit the Preserve, and we remind visitors that the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is a protected Illinois Nature Preserve. As such, it is unlawful to pick, trim, or otherwise remove any plants from the preserve grounds.

Overland Pipe to U.S. Navy Pump Station

Over the summer of 2016, the U.S. Navy notified Openlands that a pipe had burst. Repair efforts took longer than expected, resulting in unsightly mowing to the prairie next to the Hamill Family Upland Trail south of the stairway access to the beach, as well as an open hole. A temporary pipe has been installed by the U.S. Navy above ground which runs down the slope to the pump station. It is our hope that the prairie that was mowed to perform the repairs will grow back and the pipe will be removed in the next few years once the pump station at the base of the bluff has been decommissioned by the U.S. Navy.

Schenck Ravine and Lakefront Beach Restoration Update

Over the next four years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue an important ecological restoration project of Schenck Ravine and the lakefront beach bluff at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve. Questions or comments regarding the project should be directed to the Corps by phone at 312.846.5330 or by email at

The bulk of the work to date has focused on our partners land to the north. Over the late winter of 2017, frequent visitors have seen intermittent construction activity as the weather allowed. With heavy spring rains behind us, the contractor hopes to focus their efforts on the remaining work in Schenck Ravine. Unfortunately for visitors and neighbors, this means noise from construction vehicles and unsightly conditions of bare soil are present at the Chandler Bridge over Schenck Ravine. Please respect all posted construction signage for the safety of all involved, and we will update this page regularly. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding while the bulk of the heavy construction is underway.

Once excavation and earth-moving operations are complete, restoration tasks shift to planting and seeding of the ravines as well as the bluff. We hope that in a few years, the scars of regrading will be replaced with a much higher quality landscape comprised of native plants, shrubs, and trees.

Trail Connection

The bluff-top Hamill Family Upland Trail is bifurcated by the landfill owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by the U.S. Army and ending abruptly at the north and south sides of the chain link fence surrounding the landfill. In the past, trail users have crossed the landfill by using the grass paths maintained by the Army. The Army has made the decision to fence in the landfill, and as a result, this area will be inaccessible to trail users. Openlands is working both independently and with the Navy to provide a solution to connect the north and south portions of the Hamill Family Trail.

If you need further assistance, please contact

Photo: Carol Freeman