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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation


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Happening In Conservation















Sandhill cranes are just one of the many species taking refuge in your preserves

Lake County is home to more endangered and threatened species than any other county in Illinois. Part of our mission is to protect and restore the natural communities that support this native diversity. Acquiring land is just the first step.

Lake County is blessed with a rich and unusual mix of woodland, wetland and prairie habitats that offer refuge to a host of rare plants and animals.

Eighteen of the preserves are so ecologically valuable they are designated in the Illinois Nature Preserves System, a collection of the State’s most important natural areas. In addition, a portion of Middlefork Savanna is recognized for containing a globally threatened savanna ecosystem.

Our goal is to preserve and restore a diversity of habitats for future generations. From volunteer workdays to large-scale projects with regional partners, we are using many techniques to reach that goal.

Explore the connections between humans and the natural world.

  • LivingwithWildlife

    Living With Wildlife

    Many wild animals have adapted well to living in our neighborhoods. By remembering some key factors, we can learn how to avoid potential problems and enjoy the peace and serenity that these animals can bring to our backyards and communities.

  • LakeCountyPlantsandAnimals

    Lake County Plants and Animals

    Lake County is host to a rich diversity of species. Learn more about our ecosystems and what lives in your preserves.

  • naturalresourcemanagement

    Natural Resource Management

    Preserving our biological diversity means more than simply acquiring land—we must reduce the inevitable impact that accompanies development, such as invasion of non-native species and suppression of wildfires.

  • projects

    Major Restoration Initiatives

    Because of restoration, you and generations to come can explore a forest full of spring wildflowers, a prairie of 10-foot tall grasses and a marsh that echoes with the warbling bugle of sandhill cranes. Learn about our current restoration and conservation efforts that will lead to more of these success stories.

  • nativeseednursery

    Native Seed Nursery

    We use plants grown at our five-acre Nursery in Rollins Savanna to restore native habitat throughout your preserves.


  • Flowers

    Horizons Magazine Subscription

    Subscribe to our free quarterly magazine, or
    read it online.

  • Flowers

    Lake County Nature Blog

    Connect with seasonal nature observations on our Nature Blog »

  • naturecamleft

    Lake County Nature Cam

    See into the lives of local wildlife with the Nature Cam.

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