Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve
23144 W. Renwick Rd.
Plainfield, IL 60544
Nature Preserve: Birding, Hike, Picnic, Walk, Water Sports
Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve is “By far the most valuable rookery in all of Illinois…a site of outstanding statewide significance,” according to the Illinois Audubon Society. The 320-acre site was acquired beginning in 1989 and dedicated as a State Nature Preserve in 1992 to protect the breeding and foraging habitat for five species of then-endangered or threatened birds. Today, only one of the bird species remains endangered. Lake Renwick Heron Rookery is a unique site in Illinois where great blue herons, great egrets, black-crowned night herons, double-crested cormorants, and cattle egrets nest together. The site includes a 200-acre lake with several small islands used for nesting. Because of these sensitive natural resources, dogs are not allowed in the preserve. During the breeding season (March through mid-August), the preserve is closed to the public, except for public bird viewing programs, which are offered May 1 through August 15 every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to Noon and on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. Spotting scopes are available to provide visitors with a bird’s eye view of the herons and egrets building nests, feeding and caring for their young, and searching for food. The islands of Lake Renwick are the nursery for thousands of nesting birds. Raptors, ducks, and songbirds also use the preserve as an oasis along their seasonal migration routes. District staff monitor the preserve to ensure that the islands and lake remain ideal for the birds.