In 2008, Openlands partnered with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, City of Chicago Department of Aviation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin the savanna, prairie and wetland restoration efforts on the eastern half of Deer Grove. Deer Grove East once again boasts many wetland areas as well as vast rolling prairies and open oak savannas.
For the past eight years, Openlands, our partners, and many volunteers have worked together to carefully restore Deer Grove East. What had once been an abandoned agricultural field circled by dense, overgrown woods is now an expansive wetland, prairie, and savanna ecosystem, enjoyed by people and wildlife alike. In 2017, a portion of the restoration was enrolled in the Illinois Nature Preserves system.
It stands as a powerful example of what is possible when humans and nature join forces even in the most populated of places. Learn more about Openlands’ wetlands restoration work at Deer Grove East.
In 2016, Openlands commissioned two reports at Deer Grove East: