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Update from Openlands

March 22, 2023 -- On Wednesday, March 22, 2023, Openlands shared an update, copied below, providing further details regarding the  US Navy’s investigation into safety concerns at Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, located in Highland Park. Openlands is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Preserve. Openlands acquired the property from the US Navy and raised funds for the creation of the trails, restoration of the preserve, and art and interpretation that exists there today. Openlands does not receive taxpayer dollars to operate the Preserve.

Openlands is excited to share the news that the Navy’s Historic Document Review and Field Investigation Report for Openlands Lakeshore Preserve has been accepted and approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Report is now being prepared for public distribution.  No date has been provided for the final dissemination.

The Report is important because it contains a series of recommendations to be undertaken before the Preserve is re-opened. In April 2021, Preserve visitors found historic unexploded ordnance that were safely disposed of.  For the safety of all, Openlands closed the Preserve for an investigation by the Navy. Openlands is committed to reopening the Preserve as soon as the safety measures are complete later this year.

“Public safety and wellbeing are our top priorities, so it is important to follow each step of the reopening process very carefully. We are pleased with this key step toward reopening the Preserve,” said Jerry Adelmann, Openlands President and CEO.

The Preserve is located at the former Fort Sheridan military base in southeastern Lake County. A nonprofit celebrating 60 years of protecting nature in the region, Openlands has owned and operated the Lakeshore Preserve for more than a decade.  

To receive further announcements as they become available, sign up to receive Openlands Lakeshore Preserve updates by clicking here. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding.