The tallgrass prairie was once the dominant ecosystem in Illinois. European settlement and increased agricultural use of the land has resulted in a diminished ecosystem. Today less 1/10 of the original 1% remains. Our restored prairies not only offer a glimpse of the original Midwestern landscape but also provide food and shelter to a vast array of wildlife. Woody and other undesirable herbaceous species invading the prairie are managed with periodic prescribed burning. These fires also maintain a healthy prairie by promoting the growth of prairie grasses and wildflowers.
The woodland community contains more than 60 species of native to Illinois.
Our 12 acre wetland is a valuable habitat for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. It also provides necessary habitat for breeding reptiles and amphibians. Many mammals, along with a host of insect life, have found a home at the nature center. Over 170 different species of birds are observed every year. Great horned Owl, Cooper Hawks, turkey vultures, and American kestrels can be seen flying overhead in search of prey. A variety of migrating warblers pass through each spring and fall. In the winter abundant woodpeckers and nuthatches scour trees for insects.