Openlands Land Preservation (formerly known as CorLands) is dedicated to the preservation of natural areas and the acquisition of open space. Openlands Land Preservation helps communities in northeastern Illinois increase the quantity and quality of open space for public enjoyment. In the past 30 years, Openlands Land Preservation has helped local governments and private landowners protect more than 15,000 acres of open space, valued at over $500 million.
- Land Acquisition - Public agencies need time to secure grants, other funds, and approvals. Openlands Land Preservation can work quickly to negotiate with landowners, purchase, and hold title to land while public agencies assemble funds for permanent acquisition.
- Technical Assistance - Public agencies may lack the technical experience or staff for complex real estate transactions. Openlands Land Preservation provides the expertise to implement their plans.
- Conservation Easements - Openlands Land Preservation works with private landowners to provide long-term protection to open space through conservation easements. Owners retain title to the property, while agreeing to permanent restrictions on the use of their land to protect its conservation values, which agreements may qualify for certain tax benefits. Openlands Land Preservation agrees to monitor the easement in perpetuity to ensure that the open space is protected.
- Wetlands Restoration - Together with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District, Openlands Land Preservation has provided grants and technical assistance to local land managers to acquire, restore and enhance nearly 4,000 acres of wetlands and buffer areas.
- Land Acquisition Planning - With expertise in research, GIS mapping and facilitating community planning meetings, Openlands Land Preservation can help communities target open space protection as part of strategic land planning.
- Openlands Land Preservation works throughout the Chicago region to protect natural areas and
provide open space through acquisition, conservation easements, and restoration work. Some of its
nearly 100 clients include the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve Districts
of Will County and Cook County, and the City of Chicago. Land Preservation work protects plants
and animals and benefits the people who use and enjoy these areas.
- The Chicago region
continues to experience growth. Openlands works to save natural areas and open space by assisting
local governments with acquisition and city officials to acquire land for urban open space such as
reading gardens and recreation space.
- Since 1978 Openlands Land Preservation has assisted nearly 100 governmental agencies and
landowners purchase land for open space, secure conservation easements, or restore over 15,000
acres of land in Chicago and the surrounding region.
- Openlands Land Preservation currently
has approximately $2 million that can be made available for land acquisition. With each $1 million
added to the Acquisition Fund, it can leverage about $5 million in loans for land acquisition.
The 408 acres of wooded hills and ravines of the Hoover Boy Scout Camp, along a mile of the Fox River, are surrounded by farmland and fast-encroaching development. CorLands purchased the camp in stages, allowing the Kendall County Forest Preserve District to assemble funding over a three-year period. “This is going to be an incredible legacy for Kendall County,” the mayor says. “I’m proud to have had a part in it.” Full Story