Visitor center amenities
The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center offers seasonal bird viewing opportunities for the public.
The preserve offers outdoor facility rentals for groups.
The visitor center is free of charge; hours are limited to guided tours and public programs only.
PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE ON THIS VISITOR CENTER'S INTERACTIVE MAP
The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center is located at Lake Renwick Preserve — Heron Rookery Nature Preserve, which offers the following amenities and activities:
- Wildlife viewing
Fishing, bicycles and pets are not allowed in the nature preserve.
Among the many specific of birds that can be seen at Lake Renwick are great blue herons, great egrets, black-crowned night herons and double-crested cormorants. Lake Renwick is one of the unique sites in Illinois where these species of birds can be seen nesting together. The lake provides critical nesting and migratory stopover habitat for many birds. To date, 200 species have been documented at Lake Renwick Heron Rookery. The site is a hotspot for winter waterfowl – by the thousands, at times – and for songbirds during the warmer months. Also, it is common to see a bald eagle or two at Lake Renwick most of the year. Other birds recorded at Lake Renwick include great horned owls, American white pelicans, eastern bluebirds, purple martins and Baltimore orioles.
In 2002, a major restoration of the preserve’s islands and nearby property enhanced breeding and feeding areas for the birds. Due to the erosion of the islands and loss of trees, artificial nesting platforms were installed that provided new nesting spots. Additionally, 65 acres within the preserve were transformed from farmland to a grassland and wetland habitat.