Once an agricultural area, Bartel Grassland is now home to an increasing variety of native plant and bird species as restoration efforts open up the landscape and encourage natural habitat.
Since 2008, Openlands has managed restoration at Bartel Grassland Land and Water Reserve and at the newly-designated Bobolink Meadow Land and Water Reserve, which is located at Tinley Creek Wetlands. Together, they have become high-quality habitat for birds and a birding destination for the region. The two nearby sites are both in proximity to Orland Grassland Land and Water Reserve, another legacy project of Openlands, which has created a network of pristine grassland and wetland habitats in southern Cook County.
A mowed trail leads from the parking lot to an observation area with a mound that visitors can climb to survey the surrounding plain. From here, visitors can continue west on a trail adjacent to Flossmoor Road that follows the perimeter of the grassland. Across Flossmoor Road is another extension of the habitat at Bobolink Meadow.