Tomlinson Pioneer Cemetery Prairie
Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
From the north edge of Gifford, take Hwy. 136 east for 3.8 mi., then turn and go north on blacktop road for 3.0 mi. The preserve is 0.6 mi. east of the road.
Special Note: Access to the preserve is poor. Prior permission is required from the Champaign County Forest Preserve District for access.
Although Tomlinson Pioneer Cemetery is called a prairie, the natural community present is more accurately termed a dry-mesic savanna. Large, open grown bur oak and shingle oak are the dominant trees, while big bluestem and Indian grass dominate the groundcover. Typical prairie wildflowers such as leadplant and shooting star occur along with characteristic savanna plants including starry campion, wild quinine, hazelnut, and catbrier. The natural area, located on sand and gravel outwash, occupies a gently sloping ridge above the Middlefork of the Vermilion River. This preserve is one of only two savannas protected as nature preserves in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Tomlinson Cemetery was originally established as a family burial ground and burials date from 1846 to 1945.
Champaign County Board
For further information:
Director of Natural Resources, Champaign County Forest Preserve District, P.O. Box 1040, Mahomet, Illinois 61853; (217) 586-4389.