At Optima®, we’re always excited to showcase places where our residents can connect with nature, engage in healthy outdoor activities, and experience the unparalleled beauty of local landscapes. Today, we’re turning our spotlight to a gem hidden right in Wilmette – the Elmwood Dunes Preserve.
Elmwood Dunes Preserve is a true oasis nestled amidst urban surroundings. Just a stone’s throw from Optima Verdana®, this preserve promises an unforgettable journey into an ecosystem where the quiet rustle of dune grass and the song of shorebirds are your only distractions.
Preserving an acre of remnant dune and swale habitat, Elmwood Dunes is a vestige of the original Wilmette. This preserve is a testament to the region’s geological past, showcasing an environment shaped by the winds and waves of prehistoric Lake Chicago. Here, you’ll find native grasses, wildflowers, and migrating birds, presenting an idyllic spot for nature enthusiasts.
Elmwood Dunes Preserve doesn’t just offer a tranquil green space for residents to enjoy; it’s an important haven for local biodiversity. After a brief encounter with invasive trees and shrubs in the past, community volunteers worked diligently together to restore the Elmwood habitat back to its former glory, introducing over 50 native plant species, all while protecting endangered species, and providing habitat for migratory bird species. This responsible approach to conservation makes Elmwood Dunes a shining example of how urban spaces can coexist with nature.
Its serene walking trails offer an opportunity for peaceful contemplation, a leisurely walk with your dog, or a fun weekend adventure with the family. Whether you’re an avid birder, a nature photographer, or simply someone seeking a breath of fresh air, Elmwood Dunes Preserve is the place to be.
Visiting the preserve also offers an excellent opportunity to learn about local ecology and the importance of conservation efforts. Community stewardship is a key element of this preserve, with various educational programs and events held throughout the year for local schools!
Elmwood Dunes Preserve is more than just a nature preserve — it’s a vital part of our community’s commitment to sustainability and conservation. As an Optima Verdana® resident, you have this incredible natural resource right at your doorstep. Take advantage of it, enjoy it, and most importantly, respect and protect it for future generations. We guarantee you’ll fall in love with the peace and serenity it offers.