Orland Park, IL
At one of the largest project sites in the history of Pizzo & Associates, Ltd., restoration efforts at the Orland Grasslands site began on November 5, 2008 following receipt of a Notice-to-Proceed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This ecosystem restoration project was designed to address the impacts of invasive plant species, to restore the natural hydrology of the site, and to provide direct aid to the native riparian plant communities through the implementation of ecological restoration measures. The complexity of this project included a design by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Forest Preserve District of Cook County land within the municipal limits of the Village of Orland Park.
To begin the restoration efforts, approximately 150 Acres of trees were removed, 12.5 miles of drainage tiles were abated, and herbicide was applied to prepare the site for planting. Following these site preparation tasks, about 635 Acres of land was seeded using Wet Prairie, Mesic Prairie, Marsh and Wet/Mesic Prairie seed mixes. In addition, nearly 50,000 native plant plugs were installed across the site. These actions were completed all while Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. tried to accommodate a large, dedicated volunteer group of citizens.
As a result of the restoration efforts, seven (7) permanent open water bodies have re-established themselves on site. This location has also become a favorite spot for area bird watchers. Another unique feature of this site is that with the highest point of elevation in Cook County, you can even see the skyline of Chicago on a clear day.