Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
From Bath, take Hwy. 78 north 1.5 mi. to blacktop road, turn and go east 0.3 mi. The nature preserve is south of the road.
Matanzas Prairie is the only remaining high quality wet prairie in the Illinois River Section of the Illinois and Mississippi River Sand Area Natural Division. This site was once covered with sand and gravel deposited from the meltwaters of the last glaciation. On the relatively level areas water filled depressions were formed and eventually became marshes, sand ponds, and wet sand prairie. The wet prairie is characterized by blue-joint grass and cordgrass, while Indian grass, big bluestem, and blue joint-grass dominate the wet mesic prairie. A threatened variety of orchid is also found here. Notable wildlife species include the threatened Illinois chorus frog, sedge wren, and common yellowthroat. Current management practices include prescribed burning, brush removal, and wet prairie restoration.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
For further information:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, District Natural Heritage Biologist, 700 S. 10th Street, Havana, Illinois 62644 (309-543-3262).