In 2013, a group of public and nongovernmental organizations, including Openlands, developed a set of recommendations to complement the achievements of the original 1991 Reserve Master Plan. This updated plan looks to the next 20 years and envisions people restoring, enhancing, and enjoying the Reserve’s rich array of natural areas. Additionally, the Reserve’s agricultural heritage will be celebrated and continued in ways that support clean water, healthy soils, and diverse agricultural products and foods.
Today, we are breathing life into this revised Master Plan by implementing the recommendations. We are expanding core habitats for wildlife by converting more than 300 acres of farmland into native prairies, wetlands, and savannas. We are restoring and managing the existing natural areas at sites like Oak Openings and Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve; and we are preserving more open space in perpetuity by enrolling sites in the Illinois Nature Preserve System. Since the revised Master Plan was adopted, we have helped establish an organic farm at Casey Farm and we are working on road improvements and new trail connections to improve public access and safety throughout the Reserve.
The Planning Team for the Liberty Prairie Reserve Master Plan included Openlands, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Lake County Forest Preserve District, the Lake County Departments of Planning, Transportation, and Stormwater Management, Liberty Prairie Foundation, Libertyville Township, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and Conserve Lake County, which merged into Openlands in 2018.
For more information, please contact LakeCounty@Openlands.org.