We’ve been hard at work for 34 years.

OUR BOARD

The dedication of our members is reflected in their tenure.

Their efforts are reflected in the results. Please, take a moment to recognize and appreciate these individuals.

LARRY MCCOTTER
MEMBER SINCE 1994
CURRENT PRESIDENT
2011 I-CARE AWARD RECIPIENT

GEORGE MORTON
MEMBER SINCE 2014

SANDRA HART
MEMBER SINCE 2014

ANNIE GILBERT
MEMBER SINCE 2014

ALBERT S. TREFTS, JR.
MEMBER SINCE 2011

GEORGE RUSSELL
MEMBER SINCE 2010

KAREN R. CROTTY
MEMBER SINCE 2010

BILL NORDEEN
MEMBER SINCE 2008

LIZ LEUTWILER
MEMBER SINCE 2008

CHRISTABEL FREDERICK
MEMBER SINCE 2002

BO HARPER
MEMBER SINCE 1998
PAST PRESIDENT

SCOTT GULSON
MEMBER SINCE 1996

JANET MURPHY-RYAN
MEMBER SINCE 1986

JON TUNNEY
MEMBER SINCE (?)
PAST PRESIDENT

WICK NAN
FOUNDING MEMBER SINCE 1982

CAROLYN GOETZ
FOUNDING MEMBER SINCE 1981
PAST PRESIDENT

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.

Early 2011 brought welcome news that interminable engineering studies determined the Lake Bluff site was unsuitable for flood water storage and indications are that the State will sell its interest in the site to the District. Nothing is yet certain, but LBOLA’s long struggle with proponents of the big bathtub plan seems to be drawing to a wonderful conclusion.

OUR MISSION

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

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

These purposes shall be accomplished through the use of established land-management practices, sound conservation techniques and educational activities for Village residents.

(OPENS NEW WINDOW)

CONTACT US

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Lake Bluff

Open Lands Association

P.O. Box 449   |   Lake Bluff, IL 60044   |   (847) 234-2860   |   info@lbola.org

©COPYRIGHT DEC. 2016 LAKE BLUFF OPEN LANDS ASSOCIATION