In the summer of 1967, a small group of Lake Forest visionaries founded Lake Forest Open Lands Association (Open Lands) to preserve the beauty and nature of Lake Forest. At that time, they hoped to create one single public preserve.
Fifty years later, Open Lands manages 800 acres of open space, six nature preserves, and an award-winning environmental education program. It was no small feat, and wouldn’t be possible without voluntary contributions, including membership dues and legacy gifts.
For the last 30 years, one of the primary fundraisers for Open Lands has been the “Bagpipes & Bonfire” event, an evening of games with Highland Athletes, Scottish dancers, and lavish picnics at the beautiful Middlefork Farm Nature Preserve. From kilted sky divers and dramatic bagpipe processions that culminate with the lighting of the bonfire, the event has become a beloved tradition that spans several generations. Turn to page 68 for long-time Open Lands board member and former board president John Dick’s story about how it all began. In the meantime, enjoy spectacular photography from a previous year’s event, courtesy of Lake Forest photographer Kerri Sherman. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, these images say it all—about what Lake Forest Open Lands and its “Bagpipes & Bonfire” mean to our community.
This year’s 30th annual “Bagpipes & Bonfire” will take place Sunday, September 24. For more information, call 847-234-3880, ext. 17, or visit lfola.org.