Since 1963 Openlands has helped to protect more than 55,000 acres in northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region. As Chicago’s regional land trust, we drive regional conservation strategies by building strategic partnerships, supporting planning efforts and offering technical assistance, engaging elected officials, and empowering local advocates.
Openlands provides technical assistance that can include purchasing key parcels of land, ensuring they are permanently protected as open space, wildlife habitat, trails, parks, and other community assets. Our key focus areas include Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Lake County, Illinois, and Cook County. Openlands has also protected more than 2,500 acres of public and private lands with conservation easements, such as Chicago’s North Park Village Nature Center, which recently received permanent protection of over 100 acres of open space, and the Prairie Crossing Community in Grayslake.
Land Trust Alliance Accreditation
Openlands has been a Land Trust Alliance Member since 1983, and in 2013, Openlands was accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. As an accredited land trust, we apply best practices in land protection transactions and offer decades of experience in conserving the green spaces of the Chicago Wilderness region for all to enjoy.