Orland Grassland Volunteers

Note:  Wednesday workday cancelled-06-01-16

Welcome Back Bobolinks Free Community Bird Walk-June 4th, 9 to 12.  Click “Events” above for a flier and more information.


*Pilot- Moraine Valley Community College Partner Opportunities with Orland Grassland.  Click here for info and photos.

*Prairie Exhibit at new Orland Park History Museum.  Click here for info and photos.

Habitat Rescue Team Days:  Every Wednesday and the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month.  See “How You Can Help” above.

YouTube Eagle Scouts:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KagqoBlvdv0&feature=youtu.be

YouTube Army Corps Ceremony:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ-JXyP8Ya0&list=TLt-1wanRmWB-TAxPfch4w7xRA-kb_5nZQ


It’s a very special place within our midst. Adjacent to Orland Park, Orland Hills and Tinley Park, it is located at the southern-most point of our region’s moraine formed by glaciers twelve thousand years ago.  Settled in the 1800’s, it was cleared for farming, and traces of old farms are still there.  The clearing took its toll and much of the natural plant and animal life became scarce or left completely.  Orland Grassland eventually contained some degraded prairie remnant along with large hayfields that was home to nesting prairie birds--species of the highest conservation concern in the Midwest.

A restoration plan is underway that calls for restoring the mix of prairie, wetland, oak savanna and oak woodlands.  960 acres of ponds, meadows, woods and rolling hills will be improved habitat for the bobolinks, Hensolw’s sparrows, yellow-breasted chats, orchard orioles and other species that will survive there.  The preserve may also once again attract sandhill cranes and other grassland species that have lost most of their habitat outside of preserves.  With restoration, this beautiful land holds the most incredible promise of providing a stable, nurturing environment to support native vegetation and wildlife.

The long term vision is to manage the site for a contiguous prairie grassland and wetland within the interior with a perimeter trail and other features that will compliment the use of the preserve for observation, education and compatible recreation.  The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, OpenLands, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers-Chicago District, Audubon-Chicago Region and Orland Grassland Volunteers have joined together to implement the plan.

The short term need is restoration--and lots of it.  Trees and brush not native to the prairie ecosystem need to be cut and cleared.  Oak, plum, hazelnut and many other species need to be planted around the perimeters to provide just the right kind of shelter and filtered shading.  And, the prairie itself needs seeds, seeds and more seeds.

It is going to take the work and heart of many hands, professional and volunteer, for many years.  The result wIIl be nothing less than phenomenal.  We are volunteers hoping to enlist others to become involved in restoration and ongoing monitoring.  Participating in our volunteer workdays provide excellent community opportunities to enjoy and enhance nature, as well as earn community service hours.

Take a look at our information.  If you’d like to learn more, or if you  have a group that would like to join one of our workdays, just hit the “Contact Us” link or go to www.fpdcc.com



A Forest Preserves of Cook County Site

An Illinois Land and Water Reserve                           

                                         PHOTO OF THE DAY

Orland Grassland South has been crazy with birds this spring.  Little blue herons, rusty blackbirds, yellow-headed blackbirds and caspian terns all over the place!  Thanks, Ron Blazek, for this great photo.