The 20-acreTomlin Timber Nature Preserve is an excellent example of high quality dry sand forest. It was once a part of the vast central Illinois forest called Walker's Grove. Today, less than 136 acres of sand forest are known in the state.
This forest understructure was created by unique conditions left from glacial meltwaters which deposited huge quanities of sand and gravel. As the water retreated, the dry sand deposits were shaped by wind and weather into softly rolling dunes.
The rare ecosystem of Tomlin Timber features mostly black oak, black and mockernut hickory and a diverse collection of native shrubs, grasses and wildflowers. These include yellow lady-slipper orchid and Dutchman's breeches. Bobcats are known to the area.
Tomlin Timber was donated to Save the Prairie Society by the heirs of the estate of Dr. Ramona Mattson.