History

That the Bobolink Nature Area received a 2013 Conservation and Native Landscaping award from Chicago Wilderness represents a step in an amazing story of transformation.

Created by landfill for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the area was largely ignored for many decades after the Exposition. In 1958 The U. S. Army established a NIKE missile base on the fallow land. In 1971 the base was removed, and for the next decade community members lobbied the Chicago Park District to establish a nature sanctuary on the site. This was done in 1982, when native grass and wildflower seeds were sown and native plants began to take root on the old missile site

Year by year, through the activity of volunteers and the Chicago Park District, the prevalence and diversity of native plants in the woods and the prairie has increased. The deep root systems of these native plants have loosened and improved the compacted soil of the old missile site.

Today Bobolink contains award winning woods and tallgrass prairie habitats—a sanctuary for birds, butterflies, and people interested in observing nature and learning about the natural history of the Chicago region. Visitors to Bobolink will see many rare and beautiful native plants.