Land and Water Reserve – Bobolink Meadow


This incredible multi-year project for Openlands involves the re-creation over 900 acres of contiguous grassland habitat. The beauty and the ecological significance of this project are difficult to represent in casual photographs of the site, this once agrarian landscape is now teeming with life as restored native grassland and is home to an incredible number of native flora and fauna. This project represents a thoughtful push to bolster biodiversity within the Chicagoland region in an ecologically appropriate manner.

Planning and design work began in 2007, and Living Habitats was actively monitoring and conducting stewardship of the restored grasslands starting in 2008. Initial seeding and planting areas, identified during the planning and design phase, were installed in the spring of 2010. There has been a notable resurgence in the population of rare bird species, both breeding and migratory, that were identified as a priority in the early design phases.

The project serves as one of a handful of projects that address the mitigation requirements for the O’Hare Airport Modernization Program. To enable the modernization efforts and to meet the environmental requirements, wetland mitigation was required within the same watershed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partnered with Openlands to manage several projects in an effort to fulfill these mitigation requirements. Living Habitats was retained by Openlands in 2007 and served at the prime consultant in charge of planning, landscape architecture, ecological design, permitting, stewardship oversight, monitoring, and project management.

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