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Mettawa, Illinois
Location of Mettawa in Lake County, Illinois.
Location of Mettawa in Lake County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 42°14′38″N 87°55′4″W / 42.24389°N 87.91778°W / 42.24389; -87.91778Coordinates: 42°14′38″N 87°55′4″W / 42.24389°N 87.91778°W / 42.24389; -87.91778
Country United States
State Illinois
County Lake
 • Total 5.52 sq mi (14.31 km2)
 • Land 5.45 sq mi (14.11 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.20 km2)
 • Total 547
 • Estimate 
 • Density 99.67/sq mi (38.48/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
60045, 60048, 60052
Area code(s) 847
FIPS code 17-48671
Wikimedia Commons Mettawa, Illinois

Mettawa is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 547. The village maintains trails for pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian usage. Five forest preserves of the Lake County Forest Preserve District are located within village boundaries.


Mettawa was founded by area residents in 1960 who worked together with a common goal of protecting their rural area from encroaching commercial development. The village was named for a nearby Potawatomi settlement which is mentioned in an early history of Lake County. Mettawa's first mayor was James Getz; subsequent mayors included Ed Fitzsimons, Julius Abler, Barry McLean and Jess Ray. Famous residents and property owners within the area now known as Mettawa have included two-time presidential nominee Adlai E. Stevenson, city planner Edward H. Bennett, and more recently, news anchor and rancher Bill Kurtis and Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. Stevenson's Mettawa estate on the Des Plaines River is a designated Illinois Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Conservation and recreation

Mettawa was founded by conservationist landowners and continues to be a center of land conservation and restoration activities. The village also supports a rural, equestrian-friendly lifestyle. Some residents maintain small farming operations, and there are eight horse stables within the village's borders.

The Mettawa Open Lands Association (MOLA) is a non-profit organization which promotes quality open space within the village and encourages the protection of public and private open lands. MOLA supports Mettawa-area residents and open lands (including unincorporated housing developments that are surrounded by village land) with public workdays and educational programs, and provides quality open space management on village properties. In celebration of Mettawa's 50th anniversary in 2010, MOLA distributed complimentary wildflower seed packets to all village residents and to many residents in neighboring areas, and suggested that recipients plant the seeds along roadsides to help beautify the area.

MOLA maintains the Whippoorwill Farm Preserve, an open lands area owned by the village (just west of I-94 at the northwest corner of IL-60/Townline Road and Riverwoods Boulevard). Whippoorwill Farm is currently undergoing restoration to a native prairie/wetland habitat.

Adlai E. Stevenson II's home in Mettawa
Stevenson's home in Mettawa, IL

The Lake County Forest Preserve District maintains five forest preserves within village boundaries, including Old School, Grainger Woods, McArthur Woods, Captain Daniel Wright Woods and Adlai Stevenson Historic Home.

Mettawa also includes nine areas designated as Illinois Nature Preserves, one area within the Libertyville Township Open Space District, and the Covington Charitable Trust area (maintained by the Lake Forest Open Lands Association).

The Des Plaines River Trail runs through the western edge of Mettawa and connects with the village's own Mettawa Trail system, which is used by pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

Residential development

The village maintains a low-density five-acre zoning requirement for residential development. Most of Mettawa's Planned Unit Developments (PUD) have included conservation easements and land restoration.

The Deerpath Farm conservation community, Mettawa's largest (200-acre (0.81 km2)) PUD, includes 140 acres (0.57 km2) of restored open lands managed by the Lake Forest Open Lands Association, and also sponsors community workdays and nature education events. In 2006 it was named Development of the Year by the Lake County Stormwater Management Association for its innovative hydrology management based on wetland restoration.

Other PUDs within Mettawa include Sanctuary Estates and Mettawa Woods.


Mettawa is located at 42°14′38″N 87°55′4″W / 42.24389°N 87.91778°W / 42.24389; -87.91778 (42.243972, -87.917909).

According to the 2010 census, Mettawa has a total area of 5.39 square miles (13.96 km2), of which 5.31 square miles (13.75 km2) (or 98.52%) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) (or 1.48%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 126
1970 285 126.2%
1980 330 15.8%
1990 348 5.5%
2000 367 5.5%
2010 547 49.0%
2015 (est.) 578 5.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 367 people, 135 households, and 108 families residing in the village. The population density was 67.1 people per square mile (25.9/km²). There were 141 housing units at an average density of 25.8 per square mile (10.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.64% White, 2.45% Asian, 1.09% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.09% of the population.

There were 135 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.6% were married couples living together, 1.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.3% were non-families. 16.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the village, the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 36.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 103.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $127,388, and the median income for a family was $153,129. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $51,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $89,104. About 3.1% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Adjacent communities include Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, Libertyville, and Green Oaks.

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