Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
From Marissa at jct. Main Street (Hwy. 13) & Lyons Street (also Hwy. 13), take Main Street south 0.7 mile to John Hotz Street, then turn and go east 0.3 mile to Wilke Road, then turn and go south 0.8 mile. The nature preserve is west and south of the curve in the road.
Special Note: Access to Marissa Woods is via the easement to the northeast corner of the preserve. No trails have been developed.
Marissa Woods was acquired by the Department of Natural Resources in 1981 for the preservation of its relatively undisturbed forests. Specifically, the best areas are dry-mesic upland forest and flatwood communities that represent the Mt. Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southeastern Till Plain Natural Division. The dry upland forest supports several species of oaks and hickories. It is separated from flatwoods and integrating communities by slopes of shallow ravines. The flatwoods are on relatively flat sites and are underlain by claypan soils. They are dominated by post oak while white oak is of some significance. Some prairie species occur within the forest including little bluestem, asters and goldenrods. These and the present brushy character of the understory seem to suggest a presettlement savanna, now changing due to a lack of fire.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
For further information:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources - World Shooting Complex, Natural Heritage Biologist, One Main Event Drive, Suite 140, Sparta, IL 62286 (618/295-2877)