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Grayslake has a very unique community called Prairie Crossing which emphasizes preserving the natural environment as well as providing energy efficient dwellings.
The land was originally a farm until Gaylord Donnelley, a conservationist, bought this huge area which was located next to another farm he owned called Liberty Prairie Reserve. Donnelley died in 1992, but his nephew, George Ranney Jr., became the president of Prairie Holdings.
The homes look like large American Farmhouses [average 2700 square feet]; however, in this community they use 1/2 the energy of a similarly sized framed home. All homes view the lake, wetlands, & the prairie, or the onsite organic farm.
Within a short distance, there are 2 Metra Metropolitan Rail Lines with stations. There is a Main Street with office, retail, & housing between the 2 stations.
The area includes train stations, general store & cafe. In addition, The Prairie Crossing campus of the Lake Forest Hospital will be a health & wellness campus that includes urgent care center, laboratories, & medical offices.
The community has a charter school where children learn about good citizenship & conservation as well as reading, creative writing, multicultural arts, problem-solving math, science, & languages.
The really unique feature here is the organic farm. It sells to local & north suburban Cicago & pulls in over $90,000.00 a year. Residents can maintain a community garden plot or "subscribe to receive a weekly basket of vegetables".
There's this really "cool" old barn that has a 24-hour fitness facility, a gourmet kitchen, & a meeting room. It's mainly used for social events, wedding receptions, & community meetings.
There is a 13-stall stable, gazebo, playgrounds, ice skating, cross-country skiing, fishing, boating, tennis courts, & walking paths. 5o per cent of the land, however, is set aside as open space. I salute the efforts of Prairie Crossing & their concern for our environment..
Written Dec 10, 2006
When we first moved to Grayslake in 1963, I was fascinated by the Village Center's unique Street Markers. As you can see in the two photographs, they are not the usual metal signs on poles. Instead, they are concrete and painted a shade of green.
When I visited the Municipal Museum, I noticed that they had small replicas of these unusual Street markers. The tiny ones were made of wood and painted green with the street names painted on them. They were created by a local resident.
The First photograph shows the marker for Whitney Street and Center Street.
The Second photograph shows Seymour Avenue and Center Street.
The Third photograph shows the marker for Lake Street.
It is located across from Central High School where I spent my first two years as an English teacher. It was called Grayslake Community High School at that time.
Updated Aug 30, 2006