Purchase expands holdings at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve
The Board of Commissioners of the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) today approved the request to purchase a 2.38-acre parcel of land in unincorporated Cook County near Palatine. The parcel is located at 700 West Dundee Road and is adjacent to Deer Grove East and the newly renovated Camp Reinberg.
The property will bring the total acres of Forest Preserve land to 69,317 acres. In total, the FPCC manages nearly 70,000 acres of protected land.
“Each parcel of land acquired by the Forest Preserves of Cook County is important as we work to advance our Next Century Conservation Plan,” said Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. “By expanding the total footprint of the Forest Preserves, we are able to protect open land and ensure native plants and wildlife can thrive.”
The Next Century Conservation Plan, commissioned by President Preckwinkle in 2013, calls for the FPCC to expand the Forest Preserves over the next 25 years. In addition to advancing that goal, the parcel will serve as an important buffer to Deer Grove East from development to the west.
“This parcel offers numerous benefits because of its proximity to Deer Grove East,” said Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the FPCC. “The Deer Grove preserves have been identified as one of the top four priority sites in the Forest Preserves’ Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan. This acquisition allows us to prevent the land surrounding such a high-quality ecological site from future development.”
Deer Grove was the site of FPCC’s first land acquisition in 1916, and the Deer Grove preserves (Deer Grove, Deer Grove West and Deer Grove East) have grown from their initial 500 acres to approximately 1,800 acres today. The preserves include a variety of habitats, including wetlands, woodland, savanna and prairie. They are highly utilized by the public, and offer miles of trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and jogging. Also offered are fishing at Deer Grove Lake, model airplane flying and more.
Deer Grove East recently underwent an O’Hare Modernization Mitigation Account restoration project of its wetlands and prairie. Beginning this winter, the FPCC, in partnership with Openlands, will extend the restoration project by 240-acres at Deer Grove West.
Today’s Board approval grants the FPCC the authority to purchase the parcel for $360,000. The money will come from the FPCC’s Real Estate Acquisition Fund, which is appropriated with General Operating Funds.
About the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Don’t you sometimes just want to escape? Explore the natural beauty of Cook County for an hour, a day or even a night. When you’re surrounded by 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful there’s no better place to feel free.