80 acres. Limited access for volunteer
opportunities and special events for members.
The Natural Land Institute purchased the
80-acre Pecatonica Ridge Prairie Preserve at
auction in June 2005. The preserve includes an
eight-acre gem of original native prairie at the
south end with species that include pasque
flower, pale purple coneflower, rosinweed,
porcupine grass and prairie dropseed. Plants
such as joe pye weed and tussock sedge grow in
the 40 acres of wetland at the north end of the
Approximately 32 acres between the prairie
and wetland were planted in corn and soybeans
for many years. In 2005, NLI volunteers and
staff began collecting native prairie seed to
restore vegetation to the area. In April 2006,
kids and volunteers restored two acres adjacent
to the original prairie remnant by broadcasting
a mix of the seed. Seed collecting and planting
by volunteers continued until the restoration
was completed in the spring of 2009.
Native prairies are rare in Illinois.
Pecatonica Ridge Prairie is one of about 250
fragments scattered throughout the state. Each
is a natural treasure.