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Forest Preserve District

Forest Preserve District of Will County

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has grown substantially in recent years, due to two voter-approved referendums that provided funds for land preservation and site improvements. At the beginning of 2013, the District owned and managed 21,475 acres of land in more than 70 preserves around Will County.

The Lockport area features three noteworthy preserves. Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve, located on Division Street, is a globally significant, high quality dolomite prairie. Messenger Woods Nature Preserve, on Bruce Road in Homer Glen, is the oldest preserve owned by the Forest Preserve, having been acquired in 1930. Its spring wildflower display, including Virginia bluebells, is among the richest in all of Will County. Hadley Valley, in Homer Glen and New Lenox, is the site of the District’s largest-ever restoration. Hundreds of acres have been seeded with native tree, shrub and grassland species. Access is on Bruce Road and Gougar Road.

In addition to its natural areas, the Forest Preserve offers dozens of programs during the year, many for the entire family at little or no charge. Among these are special events, including the “Ride the Rock” family bike ride in May; “Island Rendezvous” in June; and “Cruise the Creek” family bike ride in October.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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