Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
From Freeport at jct. Bus. Hwy. 20 (Galena Avenue) & South Street, take South Street west 1.1 mi. to Walnut Road, then turn and go south 0.25 mi. The nature preserve is west of the road.
In presettlement times Stephenson County was covered by prairie and forest. Today, a tiny remnant called Freeport Prairie represents the last of the original upland prairie known as Shannon Prairie (named for the town of Shannon which is located south of Freeport). This 6 acre prairie lies on a steep, north-facing bluff on the edge of an ancient channel of Yellow Creek. Most of the bluff contains high quality, undisturbed prairie vegetation of the Rock River Hill Country Natural Division. The dominant plants consist of little bluestem, prairie dropseed, and side-oats grama. Common associates are Indian grass, big bluestem, and prairie brome. Many beautiful forbs add to the diversity. Downy yellow painted cup, prairie smoke, rock sandwort, and pasque flower are just a few of the more unusual flowers. Several species of mammals, birds, and reptiles reside in the preserve and can be easily observed.
Jane Addamsland Park Foundation
For further information:
Jane Addamsland Park Foundation, Freeport, IL 61032; Highland Community College, Freeport, IL 61032 (815/235-6121)