You are cordially invited to come celebrate the dedication of Heron Pond – Wildcat Bluff as an Illinois Nature Preserve!
The Cache River wetlands in southern Illinois represent the northernmost extent of North America’s vast Coastal Plain physiographic province. However, only ten percent of the original extent of the Cache River’s swamps and bottomland forests remain, and an even smaller fraction still resembles its historical condition.
For the diverse native species that call it home and the many people who have witnessed its splendor, Heron Pond hearkens back to the wilderness of the original Cache River swamps. Thanks to the efforts of local citizens, conservationists, and government agencies, this remarkable ecological legacy has been protected as an Illinois Nature Preserve since 1971.
We welcome you to celebrate 50 years of permanent protection for Heron Pond and its upland counterpart, Wildcat Bluff, on Saturday, April 9, 2022. This one-day event is hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, Friends of the Cache River Watershed, and Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves. Event highlights include informational talks by pivotal figures in the acquisition, protection, and early management of this unique site; a juried art exhibit; and field tours of Heron Pond and Wildcat Bluff. Please join us for this celebration of our irreplaceable natural heritage!