Land Access Project

Route - Black 67x30

Land Access Project

The Land Access Project is an initiative to increase sustainable local food farming on public and privately owned lands in northeastern Illinois.

Land Access Pilot Project partners Liberty Prairie Foundation and Openlands

have begun developing programs and services that will open up land access opportunities

for landowners, farmers, and others in systematic ways.  This project is generously funded through Food:Land:Opportunity – Localizing the Chicago Foodshed, an initiative of the The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust in partnership with Kinship Foundation.


Over the past few years, the team has conducted farm site visits, pursued land access

opportunities with public and private landowners, developed a best practices guide for

land access, researched farmlink programs across the country, built connections with land

trusts and farmer networks, and explored farmland protection strategies.


As the project progresses, we will:

  • Test models of land access by making connections between landowners and farmers.
  • Lay the groundwork for our future Land Access Connections Initiative, a program that will provide comprehensive support for farmers and landowners.
  • Educate beginning farmers on land access issues.
  • Share resources such as our land access guide, Breaking Ground.
  • Engage with public farmland owners to expand access for local food farmers on their lands.
  • Pursue policy strategies that are well suited for the unique challenges of land access in northeastern Illinois.


We are eager to share what we’ve learned so far and explore whether there are ways we or

other partners could help you navigate land access challenges you face. We are building a

network of farmers, landowners, investors, non-profits, for-profits, and government

agencies engaged in different elements of land access. If we have the right connection for

your particular issue, we will share it. We also welcome requests to speak to groups about

this work and the importance of expanding local sustainable food farming.





Years 2-10



———— ROUTE TYPES ————



Liberty Prairie Foundation


Chicago Metro Area, Northern Illinois


32400 N. Harris Road, Grayslake, IL 60030


Jen Miller
847-548- 4062