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Alert

Review Oriole Grove Master Plan

Virtual Meeting: Monday, October 26, 5–6:30 pm

The Planning Committee is holding a special meeting to gather additional public comment regarding a master plan for Oriole Grove Forest Preserve. Instructions on how to attend the meeting remotely will be included with the meeting agenda, which will be posted under the Agendas and Minutes section on the Board and Committees page by 5 pm, Thur, Oct 22. 

During the virtual meeting, staff will present two concept plans that explore a range of ideas and opportunities for public access improvements and natural resource restoration at Oriole Grove in Lake Bluff. These are the same plans presented on Sept 22 at an in-person meeting. The public will have the opportunity to comment and provide feedback.

View Meeting and Project Details

Alert

Preserves are open 6:30 AM to sunset.

Some facilities remain closed and all in-person education programs, volunteer projects, and special events have been canceled or modified in response to COVID-19 concerns. Follow CDC guidelines for safe social distancing.Virtual education programs and school field trips are available.

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Oriole Grove



Address

Preserve parking and trail access is available at Lake Bluff Open Lands at 250 Rockland Road
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

Hours

6:30 am to sunset, daily.

Maps

Trail Map

Acreage

86 acres

Activities

Hiking
Cross-Country Skiing

Amenities

Trails

Related Documents

Countywide Map and Guide

Locally known as Jensen Woods, this 86-acre preserve straddles the Lake Forest–Lake Bluff border and connects two community natural areas.

Running along the length of the Skokie River, the preserve sits directly between Lake Bluff Open Lands Association’s (LBOLA) Skokie River Prairie to the north and Lake Forest Open Lands Association’s Skokie River Nature Preserve to the south. Visitors can access Oriole Grove from either of these two local natural areas.

Within Oriole Grove there are 1.35 miles of grass trails, making it a great place for hiking and cross-country skiing. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our off-leash Dog Parks (permit required).

Trails at Oriole Grove are maintained by LBOLA. For questions about the trails, or to report trail safety or maintenance issues, please contact LBOLA at 847-234-2860 or info@lbola.org.

History

The preserve was originally a private estate for rail magnate William V. Kelley, who purchased the property in the early 1900s from John Mines, an immigrant farmer from Ireland. Hired to design the landscape was Jens Jensen, one of the most significant landscape architects in Chicago history.

Preliminary_Sketch_Kelley_Estate

  Jen Jensen's preliminary sketch of the Kelley estate grounds.

The Natural Scene

The preserve includes an old growth oak-hickory woodland, which features a large grove of massive bur and white oaks estimated to be over 220 years old. There is also an oak-basswood woodland and two grassland areas with remnant and restored prairie, including “Birch Prairie.”

Jensen excavated the large kidney-shaped pond to match a smaller one next to Green Bay Road. The pond’s good water quality supports regionally uncommon fish. Jensen also lined banks of the Skokie River with Wisconsin Lannon Stone for a touch of class.

The preserve serves as a keystone in a larger landscape of 240 acres of protected natural areas with Lake Bluff Open Lands, Lake Forest Open Lands and private landowners owning the rest. Approximately 40 acres are dedicated as State Nature Preserve status. 

Location

Parking is not available at Oriole Grove Forest Preserve.

Parking and trail access is available only from the Skokie River Prairie on Route 176, west of Green Bay Road in Lake Bluff, or the Skokie River Nature Preserve on the west end of Laurel Avenue, west of Green Bay Road in Lake Forest.

Please follow the rules specific to Lake Bluff Open Lands and Lake Forest Open Lands when using their properties.

PHOTOS

 
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Scan Trail Map to Your Smartphone

QRCode

To scan: open QR Code Reader app or download one from the App Store or Google Play and hold phone over the code above.

Download our free mobile app for your iPhone, Android or iPad to view other preserve and trail maps.


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