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A Team Effort

Countless minds, hands, and hearts have devoted themselves to the restoration of Orland Grassland and the propagation and protection of native plant and animal species that call the grassland home.

Orland Grassland Volunteers labor endlessly at ongoing restoration work and also offer guided tours and  partner with local schools and other organizations.  These local partnerships educate and involve people of all ages in restoring and preserving Orland Grassland.

Forest Preserves 

of Cook County

By purchasing the 960-acre site in the 1960s, then committing to a major restoration project beginning in 2002, the FPCC made possible a miracle of natural renewal that will continue well into the future.

FPCC trains and equips Orland Grassland volunteers and is responsible for overall management of the site.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District

Backed by $5 million in environmental impact mitigation funds, the Corps partnered with the FPCC in 2007 to conduct a detailed assessment of the grassland. The assessment yielded a plan for the major steps needed to advance restoration.


From 2009 through Fall 2013, the Corps and its contractors performed large-scale work at Orland Grassland, including the removal of an extensive drainage system installed about a century earlier to enable farming. With this crucial step completed, the grassland began to recover its natural hydrology (water system), a gradual process still underway.

In 2014, the Corps turned the restoration project over to the management of the FPDCC and Orland Grassland Volunteers. You can watch the ceremony here.

The Audubon Society

Early in the Orland Grassland

restoration project, Audubon Society-Chicago Region provided a technical analysis of the site and made important recommendations regarding bird habitat.


Openlands, a non-profit corporation dedicated to conservation in northeastern Illinois, provided major funding for the Orland Grassland restoration project.

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