Openlands Lakeshore Preserve

The Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is a 77-acre Illinois Nature Preserve in Highland Park, IL that is home to wooded ravines and some of our region’s most magnificent views of Lake Michigan. The Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is home to three unique ecosystems — ravines, bluffs, and lakefront. These rare and fragile ecosystems exist together in only a few places in the region and require our utmost care and respect. 

PUBLIC NOTICE: Openlands has temporarily closed the Lakeshore Preserve for the protection of all.

Openlands Lakeshore Preserve Remains Closed as Investigation Continues

For the protection of all, Openlands Lakeshore Preserve remains temporarily closed due to multiple discoveries of explosives and areas of concern that began the week of April 5, 2021. This week, Openlands learned of the Navy’s refusal to complete an onsite investigation despite documented public safety concerns. Until an onsite investigation and any necessary removal is complete, it is imperative that the public stay out of the Preserve. Any entrance is unlawful trespassing and potentially dangerous.

Per the Navy’s requirement, requests regarding the investigation of Openlands Lakeshore Preserve have gone through The City of Highland Park on Openlands’ behalf. Despite repeated requests on behalf of public safety, the Naval Station Great Lakes this week communicated to the City of Highland Park its refusal to assist in the onsite investigation at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve. Openlands is now seeking assistance from others to ensure a full onsite investigation is completed as quickly as possible. Meanwhile the City of Highland Park continues to request support from the military.

Openlands shares the desire to re-open the Preserve at the earliest possible date. We thank the City of Highland Park for the assistance they have provided to try and resolve this public safety issue. To receive updates and announcements of reopening as they become available, please click here to be added to our communications list. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

As a matter of security for the public, fencing has been placed in areas of the Lakeshore Preserve as a precaution where there otherwise would be public access to the site. Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is patrolled by Advance Security, to uphold the rules and regulations for the safety of all. Report violators to Highland Park Police: 847.432.7730

Audio Tour

Explore the Preserve through words of the people who know it best.