A 320-acre portion of the site was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1992. This dedication provides permanent protection for the natural resources at the preserve.
Hundreds of people visit the Heron Rookery Nature Preserve each year to be dazzled by the nesting herons, egrets and cormorants. Activity doesn’t stop when the nesting season ends. Lake Renwick is also a hot spot for bald eagles, American white pelicans and hundreds of winter waterfowl.
The Heron Rookery Nature Preserve features 1.45 miles of crushed limestone trail, ideal for hiking/running. Biking is only permitted at the Turtle Lake Access, which offers 3.35 miles of paved trails.