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Goose Lake Prairie

Nature Preserve Area: 
3
County: 
Grundy
Location and Access: 
From Morris, take Hwy. 47 south across the Illinois River, continue south 0.7 mile to blacktop road, then turn and go east 6 miles to Jugtown Road, then turn and go north to Goose Lake Prairie State Park. The nature preserve is within the state park.

Special Note: An interpretive center and extensive trail system have been established. Year round programs, guided hikes, lectures, and slide shows are offered.

Description: 
Goose Lake Prairie is the largest remnant of prairie left in Illinois. Over 1,700 acres of prairie and marsh communities, containing a large and diverse array of plant and animal life, are present in the park. Many birds, including Henslow's sparrows, Virginia rails, least bitterns, northern harriers and upland sandpipers, are known to nest or inhabit the marshes and prairies.

A considerable amount of research on prairie insects has been conducted at Goose Lake Prairie in recent years. These investigations have resulted in the discovery of a new moth species and the rediscovery of another moth previously thought to be extinct.

Future plans for the site include continued tree and brush removal and prairie restoration. Large prescribed burns are conducted at the site and are an important part of the management.

Ownership: 
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated: 
October 1969
Size: 
1537.1 acres nature preserve, 90.8 acres buffer

Topo Map: Coal City and Minooka 7.5
Topographic Quad: 
Coal City
Topo Map: 
Directions: 
For further information: 
Site Superintendent, Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, 5010 North Jugtown Rd., Morris, IL 60450 (815/942-2899) or Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist,  (630/553-1372)