Lake County is home to the richest diversity of native species in the state and it supports more state-threatened and -endangered species than any other Illinois county. It is also indicative of our regional landscapes, sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan at the crossroads of the deciduous forests to the east and the great prairies to the west.
Openlands has a long history of working in Lake County on significant projects that protect the land and engage people in conservation. These include creating and managing the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve in Fort Sheridan that opened one mile of Lake Michigan shoreline to public access. We have advised on projects including the Route 53 expansion, farmland protection, the Liberty Prairie Reserve, and a successful 2008 referendum allowing the Lake County Forest Preserve District’s purchase of 3,000+ acres.
Today, we collaborate with many partners and communities to strike a sensible balance between the complex needs growing of communities while maintaining and enhancing the county’s rich natural and agricultural heritage.