The 77-acre Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is a signature project in Highland Park. It boasts restored plant communities in its ravines and on its bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. Publicly accessible, the preserve features meandering, accessible trails and on-site signage and podcasts about the landscape. In celebration of ADA 25, Openlands will install interpretive signage on the bridge linking to the trail system across one of the ravines. The signage commemorates Harry Chandler, Jr., an Openlands board member who was paralyzed. He was a persistent advocate for accessibility, and the bridge is symbolic of Openlands’ work to make nature available to everyone.
Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region, parts of the three states surrounding Chicago. As a metropolitan conservation organization, they use a range of tools—including community engagement, policy and planning, land acquisition, and ecological restoration—to achieve their goals.