Save The Prairie Society


History of the Restoration Site

Role of Buffer Sites in Preserving Biodiversity
  --Protecting Original
  --Providing Habitat for
  Native Species

Project Goals and Purpose

Restoration Strategy and Methods

Site Biodiversity

Education and Outreach

Project Participants

Protecting Original Landscapes

The plight of remnant natural areas in Illinois is compounded by their vulnerability to incompatible adjacent land uses, unsustainable size of the remnants, and loss of biodiversity as a result of species extinctions and effects of invasion by non-native species and human intrusions.

Natural areas experts believe that the 80 acre Wolf Road Prairie is barely large enough to sustain biodiversity. They recommend that Wolf Road Prairie be enlarged to a minimum of 100 acres in order to minimize adverse edge effects, fragmentation, and hydrological degradation. In response, the buffer restoration site at 10 Hickory Lane is adding five critical acres to the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve as well as addressing the need for wildlife habitat and watershed protection.

photo by Tim Burke

In Illinois 99.9% of our original prairies have been destroyed through agricultural practices and urban development. Wolf Road Prairie is recognized as the largest and best quality black soil prairie east of the Mississippi River.

photo by Susan Van Horn

Over 90% of Illinois wetlands have been filled or drained. The water quality of the wetland at Wolf Road Prairie is enhanced by the upstream buffer. As a healthy microcosm of wetland, prairie and savanna, Wolf Road Prairie supports rare vegetation and wildlife habitat.

photo by Tim Burke

The Illinois oak and hickory savanna is one of the rarest ecosystems in the state and is ranked G-1-- critically globally imperilled -- in greater peril than the rainforests of the world. Only two Grade B oak savannas exist in Illinois, and one of these is found at Wolf Road Prairie. No Grade A savanna remains in Illinois.

The savanna restoration on the buffer at Hickory Lane is adding acreage to supplement an ecosystem type dangerously close to extinction.