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Lake County wildlife, like the heron pictured here, figured into the Route 53-120 Corridor Plan, a WRD Environmental project

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Route 53-120 Corridor Plan, Lake County, IL

Client Profile

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the official regional planning organization for northeastern Illinois’ seven metropolitan counties. CMAP establishes strategies that help the region’s 284 communities address development issues.

As part of a team led by the Lakota Group, WRD collaborated with CMAP to develop a corridor plan for the potential expansion of Route 53-120.


  • Analyze GIS information for natural resources and open space within a corridor study area of 76,000+ acres (one mile on each side of the proposed road)
  • Conduct workshops with representatives from the 20 municipalities and area organizations
  • Present findings to the land use committee, stakeholders and residents at public meetings
  • Prepare data-supported reports that showcase balanced economic development with open space preservation, while preserving community character goals for central Lake County
  • Develop guidelines that municipalities can apply to future development to preserve and enhance existing open space

Sample Results

  • An existing-conditions assessment that includes a detailed analysis of the market, land use, environment and transportation systems
  • Identification of hot spots – with the highest potential for significant land use change – and cool spots – where environmental protection and enhancement efforts should focus
  • A corridor-wide land use and transportation plan, including recommendations to protect open space and natural resources, and mitigate impacts on them
  • Recommendations for multi-modal transportation improvements and or modified policies, land use plans, and development standards
  • Open space and natural resources best practices to help strengthen municipal and county ordinances

Learn more about the Route 53-120 Corridor Plan.

Return to Habitat overview page

A map of restoration opportunities along the Route 53-120 Corridor