Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve

Reed-Turner Woodland is a Certified Nature Preserve by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The rules for such lands prohibit pets (no dogs), no picking of flowers, no removal of any plants or animals, no hunting, trapping, fishing, or swimming.  “Leave only your footprints”.

The Preserve is a beautiful, calm place to walk, watch, and listen for the ever present signs of life such as animal tracks in the damp soil of spring and excavations from squirrels digging up their trove of buried nuts – or burying them in the fall.  The bare tree branches of spring and fall make bird sighting easier (and easier for the hawk and owl population to spot their prey of voles, field mice, rabbits).

Trails are open dawn to dusk, weather permitting.  The trails are well defined and most are covered in wood chips for easy walking.

The Preserve features oak covered morainal ridges bordering the deep ravine of Indian Creek. This topography provides multiple ecosystems and the accompanying high diversity of plant and animal life.

The rich history of Reed-Turner Woodland, a 50-acre section of the original grove of oak and hickory trees for which Long Grove was named, becomes evident even before stepping into the preserve. The rustic nature center, built in the 1920s, was originally the summer home of the individual who would become the first Village of Long Grove President,  Guy Reed. Over the years, Mr. Reed acquired more land and built a year-round home a few hundred yards from the original summer home.  Eventually his daughter Barbara Reed-Turner married and moved into the summer home with her family on a year-round basis.  After her parents passed away, Barbara and family moved into the larger home, where she still lives.

The Nature Conservancy, a national organization that identifies high-value natural sites, agreed to purchase the original 36 acres of  what is now the Reed-Turner Woodland.  The Nature Conservancy’s practice is to seek local organizations to assume ownership and protection of most of its acquisitions. Thus, the land was transferred to the Long Grove Park District, which has and will continue to protect it for the benefit of future generations.  The Preserve is an Illinois CertifiedNature Preserve which under Illinois law protects it from any development and sets standards for usage and management.

Barbara later donated the original summer home and surrounding three acres to the Long Grove Park District, providing the gateway to the Preserve as well as a base of operations for the Park District and a community meeting space.  Through a series of subsequent small acquisitions, the Park District has grown the overall Preserve to approximately 49 acres of prime natural space in the middle of Long Grove.