Messenger Marsh has one shelter available, and a permit is required for all groups of 25 or more to use a shelter. Groups smaller than 25 also can purchase a permit, which grants exclusive use of a shelter for the entire day.
Reservations must be made at least two business days in advance of the reservation date.
You may access the shelter beginning at 8 a.m. You must clean up and exit the preserve by sunset.
All reservations must be made in person. Reservations are not taken over the phone. A permit can be purchased at any of the following visitor centers:
- Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon
- Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook
- Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville
- Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township
- Sugar Creek Administration Center, Joliet
Messenger Marsh Shelter
Cost: $70 for residents and $140 for nonresidents
Capacity: 100 people
Permit capacity is based on a number of factors, including number of picnic tables under each shelter, seating allocated for wheelchair access, parking, trail use and preserve amenities. Please also note that parking is open to all preserve users and is not allocated solely for those reserving the shelters.
Preserve amenities including the shelter, latrine, information board and shelter picnic tables are located on accessible routes and are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The complete list of fees for all the District's shelters, along with rules and allowable special requests can be found on the picnicking page.