Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project
Wetlands Research, Inc. was formed in 1983 as a joint venture between the Lake County Forest Preserves and the Chicago-based Openlands Project, a private conservation organization, to manage construction and research of the wetland project, which encompassed much of Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve.
For nearly 30 years, scientists worked at this preserve testing wetland design principles, construction methods and management programs necessary to recreate and maintain wetlands for flood control, water quality management and wildlife habitat. The project concluded in December 2012. Read the final report.
The Natural Scene
Before restoration work began here, the land had been drained for farmland, mined for sand and gravel and then abandoned. Most of the original wetlands had been destroyed.
Today, the river, once obscured by weedy overgrowth, is visible through a rehabilitated oak grove. The prairies and meadows have been restored, and the wetlands are again functioning to provide flood control, wildlife habitat and to improve water quality in the river.
The preserve's main entrance is on the south side of Wadsworth Road, east of Route 41 and west of the Des Plaines River Trail.
A separate canoe launch entrance is located on Wadsworth Road just east of the preserve's main entrance.
Fishing is available only at the canoe launch.
You can access the Des Plaines River Trail from either entrance.