The Lake County Forest Preserve District is the government entity charged with protecting the county’s natural resources for the benefit of the flora and fauna, and the public. As guardians of the county’s open space, the District currently manages more than 30,000 acres, including 182 miles of trails.

The District recently completed its 100-year Vision and Strategic Plan, which identified strategic directions for conservation to be implemented over the next five years. Pivotal to making the plan a reality is the use of science-based, data-driven conservation to guide the District’s efforts.

Our Role

In 2015, the District selected The Conservation Fund to lead the development of a geographic information system (GIS) based Green Infrastructure Strategy to steer regional and local open space planning in Lake County. By providing a consistent modeling framework, this will create a common vision for the entire county and will greatly aid planning and implementation among various agencies, organizations, corporations and citizens involved in preserving the best of Lake County.

The Lake County Green Infrastructure Strategy follows up on our work with Chicago Wilderness to envision, map and implement plans for a network of more than two million acres of protected and restored lands and waters throughout the four states that surround Chicago.

Why This Project Matters

Our Strategic Conservation Planning work provides a better way forward for smart development and creates a blueprint for livable cities that balances the built environment with the natural one. Thoughtful planning benefits wildlife and people, but it also makes economic sense – using these ecosystems for what they are naturally intended to do is the least costly and most efficient way to control flooding, storm water runoff and sewer overflows, and clean our air and water.

As development in the Chicago region continues to expand, Lake County is planning today what it will look like tomorrow, ensuring a greener, healthier, vibrant and prosperous future.

Learn More

Chicago Wilderness Vision
Lake County Forest Preserve District
News Article: Model to Identify Green Strategies in Lake County (Daily Herald)