Preserving Lake Bluff

Since 1981

Our Mission

The purpose of this association is the protection, preservation, restoration and management of open spaces and natural areas in Lake Bluff, IL.

Lake Bluff Natural areas included: wetlands, forests, ravines, beaches, beach bluffs, prairies, rivers and savannas.

We accomplished this through the use of established land-management practices, sound conservation techniques and educational activities for Village residents.

Our History

LBOLA was formed in 1981 by Carolyn Goetz
for the purpose of saving a small wetland and white pine plantation from being developed into a housing subdivision.

 

Carolyn’s success led to the eventual purchase of the property

by the Lake Bluff Park District and what is now known as the

Carolyn Goetz Wetlands Preserve.

 

 

1990 – 2000

Soon after, we replaced the bridge crossing Ravine Park at Gurney Avenue which was primarily spearheaded and funded by LBOLA and the
Elmer Vliet family.

LBOLA also planted a native lakefront prairie habitat and cottonless cottonwoods at the Lake Bluff Beach.

Prior to leaving Lake Bluff in 1996, Carolyn and LBOLA fought hard to eventually gain village permission to restore 35 acres to the south of the new water plant located just west of Highway 176, 1/4 mile west of Green Bay Road. The area is now known as the Skokie River Preserve.

The Skokie River Prairie has become our premier property with numerous rare and threatenedprairie wildflowers in abundance.It's a “restored prairie," in the sense that the native forbes (wildflowers) and tall grasses now growing there grew from suppressed plants or germinated from seeds that had lain dormant in the soil for several decades.

Our clearing of non native shrubs and weeds exposed them to the sun so they could finally germinate and again retake their place in an environment where prairie and savanna habitat is constantly shrinking. Best estimates are that only 0.1% of the ‘Prairie State’ is recognizable today as either prairie or savanna. In this regard, we’re quite proud to be able include our Skokie Preserve to the additions column.

In 1998, with the Skokie River Prairie well underway, LBOLA turned its attention to another long-neglected parcel that separated LBOLA’s Skokie River Prairie from Lake Forest Open Lands’ properties. The Lake County Forest Preserve’s "Lake Bluff Site" is an 80 acre parcel purchased jointly in the mid-1980s by the Forest Preserve District and the state's Water Resources Department for the construction of a huge floodwater retention basin.

2000 – PRESENT DAY

With the site’s future in doubt, LBOLA still moved ahead with restoration activities. We had about 15 acres cleared for prairie restoration as well as many more acres of magnificent old-growth bur oak savanna "liberated" from the invasive non-native understory that threatened its future.

We remain an all volunteer grassroots organization, depending on volunteer efforts to help preserve Lake Bluff's natural beauty.In 2010 the Skokie River Prarie was registered with the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve.

In 2017 LBOLA restored eastern Dwyer Woods with aid from the Lake Bluff Elementary School, is was a 5 day effort. Thanks to resident volunteers and our interns , what was a dark impenetrable patch of  buckthorn is now restored woodland.

In 2018 LBOLA species sampled over 300 various species in the Skokie River preserve alone.

In 2019 LBOLA celebrated cutting the last mature buckthorn in the Skokie River Preserve. It is important to note that although this is a great accomplishment , the battle is not yet over. The seed bank potentially contains over a decade of viable buckthorn seed, but through our interns, volunteers, and your donations we will be able to continue to eliminate the regrowth.

2018 Interns

Cody Epperson

Crew Leader

 

Jake Twichell

Returning Intern

 

Ben Sullivan

Intern

 

J.R Naughton

Intern

 

Brian Sullivan

Intern

 

Please Contact Us About Being A Intern Next Year Or Volunteering

LARRY MCCOTTER
MEMBER SINCE 1994
PRESIDENT

BILL NORDEEN
MEMBER SINCE 2008

VICE PRESIDENT

ALBERT S. TREFTS, JR.
MEMBER SINCE 2011

TREASURER

GEORGE MORTON
MEMBER SINCE 2014

SANDRA HART
MEMBER SINCE 2014

ANNIE GILBERT
MEMBER SINCE 2014

KAREN R. CROTTY
MEMBER SINCE 2010

LIZ LEUTWILER
MEMBER SINCE 2008

BO HARPER
MEMBER SINCE 1998

SCOTT GULSON
MEMBER SINCE 1996

JANET MURPHY-RYAN
MEMBER SINCE 1986

WICK NAN
FOUNDING MEMBER SINCE 1982

 

 

Our Board

 

Lake Bluff Open Lands Association is a non-profit organization working to protect Lake Bluff's open and natural areas forever. Due to generous donations, volunteer hours, and a hard working intern team in the summer, LBOLA has been able to continuously maintain 200+ acres across 13 natural areas.

 

Our preserves are open to the public at no charge , however if you feel so inclined to donate financially or your volunteer time, please contact us. None of our success would be possible without the communities generous donations.

 

Lake Bluff

Open Lands Association

P.O. Box 449   |   Lake Bluff, IL 60044   |   (224)-436-1512 |   info@lbola.org

©COPYRIGHT DEC. 2016 LAKE BLUFF OPEN LANDS ASSOCIATION

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