Restoration is the process of returning the land to a healthy state for nature, wildlife, and people. The retreat of glaciers 12,000 years ago and the evolution of tallgrass prairies that followed left Illinois with deep, rich soils. As more colonists moved west, wetlands were drained, much of the prairie was plowed, and farmland now covers over 80% of our state in place of natural ecosystems. Over the decades, Openlands has developed strong expertise in cutting-edge ecological restoration in order to restore the diversity and beauty of native prairie, woodland, and wetland ecosystems on all scales. From working with property owners in Lake County to practice conservation-friendly landscaping to our work in large landscape restoration at Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, Openlands understands the importance of healthy, connected land and water.
Openlands is leading a series of restorations across the Des Plaines River Watershed that are undertaken in conjunction with the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Department of Aviation.
Openlands works with property owners to provide information and advice to bring conservation-friendly practices into landscapes across Lake County.
With ComEd Green Region, Openlands supports pollinator-friendly and climate resiliency projects for government agencies in Northern Illinois.