Prior to extensive European settlement, a large portion of Winnetka and the surrounding area near Lake Michigan were covered by extensive oak woodlands and savannas, but even by the 1930s, nearly all of the larger oak ecosystems in the north shore were already gone.  As these maps from Chicago Wilderness show, Crow Island Woods is the only remnant oak forest from that time.

When our children forage in Crow Island Woods during pioneer days, they are literally walking in Winnetka’s only remaining forest dating back to pre-settlement times!

  • The vast majority of oak ecosystems that covered the north shore before European settlers arrived have been destroyed.




Crow Island Only Remnant of Pre-Settlement Winnetka