West Chicago Prairie Habitat Restoration

Habitat Restoration & Wildlife Conservation Project

West Chicago Prairie: Habitat Restoration

In winter 2018-19 the Forest Preserve District will continue to improve habitat, specifically in 7.6 acres of immature upland forest known as the MacQueen savanna along the Illinois Prairie Path. This restoration project will create a larger restored landscape and increase the quality of the site, resulting in healthier and more sustainable habitat.

The District will remove invasive brush and trees not historically found in the area. Desirable native trees and shrubs will remain to flourish, and native plant seeds will be sown. By removing these invasive plants, the District will return an ecosystem that not only supports more wildlife but also provides visitors with springtime wildflowers and impressive views of prairies, wetlands and woodlands. Workers will use chainsaws and landscape construction equipment to remove the invasive brush, and chipper trucks and burn piles for disposal. Temporary trail closures may be necessary at certain times during the project.



Work is scheduled to begin in December 2018 and be mostly completed by April 2019 while the ground is frozen to protect the roots of desirable plants.



The $34,000 project will be funded by an Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation 3-to-1 cash match from community donations ($25,000) and community donations ($9,000).



Over the past 35 years, the District has made progress to improve habitat at one of the Forest Preserve District’s highest quality prairies. Most recently, the District has removed invasive woody brush, planted native species and used prescribed fire for maintenance.

West Chicago Prairie map