The Chicago region once hosted thousands of hectares of oak woodlands and savannas—ecosystems that are critical habitats for wildlife and host an incredible diversity of plant species. In fact, there were more than 1 million acres of oak ecosystems prior to European settlement. However, many of these ecosystems have been lost to development. Only 17% remain across the region. Many of the remnants are degraded by lack of management and/or invasive species.
This project is built off the Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan that was first drafted in 2015 and enacts many of its recommendations. This includes encouraging management of invasive species on public and private land, conserving existing remnants, and recreating connectivity between them.