Deeded to the Village of Kenilworth by the Mahoney family in 1929 for the purposes of nature study, the bird sanctuary and wildflower preserve located on the shore of Lake Michigan was designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen and opened to the public in 1933. Design and planting began in 1930, when the Kenilworth Home and Garden Club engaged Jensen while also donating wildflowers from members’ gardens.
Taking the form of two generous ovals, the preserve’s two central meadows were separated by Sheridan Road. Although the road bisects the park, a continuous pedestrian circulation route of gentle curves unites the two sections, providing a meandering pedestrian experience with both sun and shade along its forested edge while offering views into the two meadows, specimen canopy and flowering trees, native shrubs, wildflowers and the lake.
Three council rings (circular benches) are located in the meadows, constructed of flat layered limestone, serving as a gathering place for communal education about the local flora and conservation. Other site embellishments constructed of native limestone include a fireplace and birdbath. The project incorporates many of the same features as the Lincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield, also designed by Jensen in 1936, which includes a council ring donated by the Kenilworth Club in 1939. In 1983, Stephen Christy worked with the Kenilworth Home and Garden Club to renovate Mahoney Farm Preserve.