Deer Grove

Jens Jensen Preserve, also known as Deer Grove East, is a popular forest preserve for hikers, joggers, and bird watchers alike – it is truly a place where plants, wildlife, and people can thrive.

Deer Grove West is the inaugural piece of land that was acquired by the Forest Preserves of Cook County nearly 100 years ago. Since then, it has served as an oasis for a wide array of species native to our region.

Openlands has formed various partnerships under the O’Hare Modernization Program to play an integral role in the restoration of these preserves.

Plan your visit to Deer Grove Forest Preserve.


Location: Cook County, Illinois
Funding Source: O’Hare Modernization Mitigation Account (OMMA)
Owner & land manager: Forest Preserves of Cook County
Size of project site: 180 acres
Partners:  Audubon Great LakesChicago Department of AviationChicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Deer Grove Natural Areas Volunteers.

Revitalizing Native Ecosystems at Deer Grove East

Looking around the wide-open prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and oak savannas at Deer Grove, it’s hard to imagine that it was ever overgrown with invasive species that prevented native plants and animals from thriving in the area.

A Model of Smart Restoration

The revitalization of Deer Grove East has not only contributed to the local economy in the short-term, but it’s also expected to yield long-term economic gains from increased visitation, outdoor recreation, and ecosystem services.