On December 9, 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn announced a major partnership and conservation initiative with federal, state and local stakeholders to create the largest open space project in the country covering approximately 140,000 acres of land. When completed, the Millennium Reserve will provide public recreation opportunities and improve the quality of life for more than 433,000 residents. The state will invest $17.9 million for the first phase of the project to begin restoration of 15,000 acres of open space.
Image Source: Millennium Reserve Initiative, State of Illinois
Today, the Southeast side of Chicago is home to more than 2,000 species including 40 rare plant and 20 rare animal species. Rare or endangered animals such as the glass lizards, Blanding’s turtle, Franklin’s ground squirrel, the Black-crowned Night Heron and the Bald Eagle can be found within the wetlands and marshes located along the waterways.