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Messenger Marsh
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The 620-acre Messenger Marsh was acquired between 1989 and 2000.

The preserve is part of the Spring Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 1,900 acres of land.

Natural Resources

Messenger Marsh protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, savanna, and a portion of Spring Creek.

Wildlife found at the preserve includes the wood frog, brown snake, and 110 bird species.

The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including the hairy beard tongue, hispid sunflower, great white lettuce, and sunshine rose.

The site is managed with community restoration to protect and enhance its natural resources. Learn more about the Districtís land management activities.

The preserve is also part of a tree mitigation project funded by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority that has planted more than 10,000 trees and shrubs at the preserve.

Amenities and Activities


Messenger Marsh provides access to a 3.44-mile, crushed limestone segment of the Spring Creek Greenway Trail, ideal for the following activities:Dog Exercising

The preserve features a fenced 7-acre off-leash dog park, including a 1.1-acre pen exclusively for dogs under 35 pounds. A permit is required for dog park use. Learn more about the Districtís dog parks, permits, and fees.


The preserve offers one picnic shelter for rental, Messenger Marsh Shelter, with a permit capacity of 100 people. Learn more about picnic permits and fees.


The preserve offers access to shoreline fishing on a detention pond within the preserve. Statewide and District regulations apply. Learn more about fishing in the forest preserves.


Permits are available for geocaching at this preserve. Learn more about geocaching permits.

Download a map of the amenities at Messenger Marsh.
Messenger Marsh Landscape
Photograph Courtesy of Morgan Drdak
Messenger Marsh is located on South Bell Road, south of Route 7/159th Street in Homer Glen.

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17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
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