Tinley Creek Wetlands and Bartel Grasslands are adjacent properties of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and together they comprise one of a handful of large-scale native grassland habitats in northeastern Illinois.
Bartel Grassland and Bobolink Meadow Land and Water Reserves
Since 2008, Openlands has managed restoration at Bartel Grassland Land and Water Reserve and at the newly-designated Bobolink Meadow Land and Water Reserve, which is located at Tinley Creek Wetlands. Together, they have become high-quality habitat for birds and a birding destination for the region. Both restorations have been a major project for the Next Century Conservation Plan.
Both Bartel Grassland and Bobolink Meadow are enrolled in the Illinois Nature Preserve system, providing vital open space protections.
The two nearby sites are both in proximity to Orland Grassland Land and Water Reserve, another legacy project of Openlands, which has created a network of pristine grassland and wetland habitats in southern Cook County. By identifying and restoring conservation areas in proximity to one another like these, we create the habitat on the scale needed for wildlife to thrive.
Openlands provides project management for these sites to restore native grassland. Specific restoration work at the site includes:
- Coordinating planning and permitting
- Invasive tree removal
- Hydrologic restoration
- Restoration of native plant species
- Bird monitoring
Location: Cook County, Illinois
Funding Source: O’Hare Modernization Mitigation Account (OMMA)
Owner & land manager: Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Size of project site: 860 acres
Partners: Audubon Great Lakes, Bartel Grassland Volunteers, Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission