Restoration is the process of returning the land to a healthy state for nature, wildlife, and people. Openlands is actively restoring natural areas at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Lake County’s Liberty Prairie Reserve, and at several sites in the Des Plaines River Watershed.
Wetlands Restoration Through the O’Hare Modernization Program
The Des Plaines River Watershed restorations are in conjunction with the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Department of Aviation. Funding for these projects was made available by the O’Hare Modernization Program, which seeks to offset the impact on aquatic resources caused by the expansion of Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Following restoration, several of these sites were enrolled in the Illinois Nature Preserve System, acknowledging the high quality efforts. With the entire project completed, this $25 million effort will support rehabilitation and enhancement of over 1,500 acres of habitat, and the project has already influenced the direction of ecological restoration across our region.