Cook County Forest Preserve Land Gets Next Level of Wildlife Protection
New Bobolink Meadow Land and Water Reserve preserves 900 acres of primo habitat for grassland birds.
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Bobolink populations may be declining worldwide, but Chicago, at least, is stepping up with a safe haven. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission named a tract of forest preserve land spanning Tinley Park, Flossmoor, and Country Club Hills as the Bobolink Meadow Land and Water Reserve, a designation that means the spot is both highly protected and has the highest quality of animal and plant habitat. Recent conservation work by the nonprofit Openlands helped earn the new title for the land, which houses Illinois’s second-largest bobolink population. The preserve is a mecca for Chicagoland birders hoping to glimpse one of the 157 bird species that have been spotted there.