Prairies, savannas, woodlands and wetlands offer an impressive array of habitat for birds, wildlife and plants. In the prairie, you'll find native plants such as prairie dropseed, big bluestem, goldenrod and smooth rose. The woods, sitting atop the bluff lands of Lake Michigan, contain large stands of white, bur and black oaks.
Five state endangered species take refuge here––one is so rare its existence in the nation is threatened. Our ecologists and volunteers give special attention to these species, but also work hard to protect and restore the preserve's many other habitats. We've planted more than 1,000 native trees and shrubs here. We also use several techniques to keep non-native species at bay, such as controlled burning and selective clearing.
Lyons Woods is a birder’s paradise and part of the Lake Michigan flyway. Migrants that pass through during spring and fall migration are northern goshawk, townsend's solitaire, and white-winged crossbill.
It also has one of the highest diversities of breeding warblers of any natural area in Lake County, including the common yellowthroat, the blue-winged warbler and the ovenbird. An observation deck makes it easy to view the variety of bird species and other wildlife found here.
In winter, the evergreen grove by the parking lot often shelters several birds not normally seen this far south, such as the long-eared owl. Once a tree nursery, the evergreens are not native to this area.