Check out the links below to stories highlighting the dedicated volunteers and incredible biodiversity of the Illinois Nature Preserves!
- The Community Word, Nature Rambles | Bell Bowl, a Prairie in Peril, October 27, 2021
In Illinois, the prairie state, finding prairies can be a real challenge. Over 99.99% of Illinois native prairie has been destroyed. Most prairie has been converted to agriculture. The areas that were too hilly to plough or too dry or too wet to grow crops are almost all that remain.
- Chicago Sun-Times, New leadership can help save Bell Bowl Prairie, October 30, 2021
There seems little question that at least a portion of the prairie would qualify for nature preserve dedication, as it is of outstanding ecological quality
- Grayslake Patch, Lake Villa Couple Gets Outstanding Volunteer Award, July 23, 2021
Lake Villa residents Joyce and George Proper were awarded the Outstanding Volunteer award. The couple has volunteered for decades and collectively donated more than 10,000 hours in the last 15 years alone, according to a Lake County Forest Preserves news release.
- Daily Herald, Somme Prairie Grove recognized as Illinois Nature Preserve, June 25, 2021
Somme Prairie Grove has benefitted from a vibrant stewardship community — led by the North Branch Restoration Project — since 1980 and represents one of the oldest and most comprehensive savanna and woodland restorations in the Midwest. The recovery of Somme Prairie Grove is credited to the long-standing participation of this cohort of dedicated and talented community volunteers.
- OakPark.com, “Why we should care about Wolf Road Prairie,” June 23, 2021
Wolf Road Prairie is one of the last remaining examples of undisturbed black-soil grassland on earth. Its unusually intact ecosystem supports a large, interdependent community of wild animal, plant and other species. A legacy of the indigenous nations that formerly held sway, it is now protected for future generations. Scientists, students, and tourists visit from all over to admire and study this beautiful place. An unspoiled landscape like this would be unusual in a wilderness area; that it exists in Cook County makes it even more remarkable. It’s so special, it’s shocking that anyone would consider doing anything to jeopardize its well-being.
- Chicago Tribune, “In Illinois — the Prairie State — little prairie land remains. But work is being done to save what’s left in Cook County and restore more.” February 6, 2020
When walking in Cook County forest preserves back in the 1990s, John McMartin always thought the woods didn’t feel quite right. They were crowded and dark, unlike the open and airy woodlands near the farm he grew up on in Minnesota. Years later, he learned why.
- WTTW, “Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve mentioned in “New Bucket List for Nature Lovers: The World’s Most Instagrammed Forests” January 18, 2020.
The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission has designated Cap Sauers one of the highest quality natural areas in the state. Its miles of trails lead to some of the most remote areas in Cook County.
- Kankakee Daily-Journal, “Friends of the Nature Preserves,” January 16, 2021
A much-needed conservation group officially was formed and rolled out this past week. The Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves is a new nonprofit formed by a large group of passionate and concerned citizens.
- Daily Herald, “The Land Conservancy of McHenry County preserves 83 acres of wetland, sedge meadow and wet prairie in Woodstock,” January 3, 2020.
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County has preserved an 83-acre property, Slough Creek Wetland Bank, located northwest of Woodstock on Jankowski Road. The parcel lies within the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge and is adjacent to McHenry County Conservation District property along Slough Creek, the Nippersink Creek corridor, and one-half mile from the Bystricky Prairie Illinois State Nature Preserve.