The highlight of this site is the significant marsh and sedge meadow complex. Approximately 110 acres here enjoy added protection as a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve. The entire site is part of the larger Liberty Prairie Reserve, a collaboration of public agencies and private landowners to create a significant landscape of continguous open space in Libertyville Township.
Almond Marsh provides a great spot for migrating waterfowl to rest and forage. Many different bird species have been documented using the preserve, including the state endangered black-crowned night heron and king rail. Great blue herons have been an iconic species at this marsh for decades, but the natural deterioration of tall trees recently has caused a decline in nesting sites for this species.
With help from the Lake County Audubon Society and Integrated Lakes Management, Inc., the marsh now contains 12 man-made nesting platforms to provide continued nesting locations for great blue herons. Since the project began in 2009, these man-made platforms have been adopted by heron families, and Almond Marsh continues to be a great place for this species to nest and raise young. Our wildlife biologists hope that this pilot project may help with breeding efforts of other platform-nesting species, such as ospreys, at other locations in future years.