Midewin - Des Plaines - Goose Lake Prairie Macrosite
Protected lands - Located in Will county, Midewin is the first tallgrass prairie to be established under federal control. Encompassing over 19,000 acres, it is the largest tallgrass prairie complex in the state, and is second only to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in the number of nesting area-sensitive grassland bird species. Goose Lake Prairie is the largest native tallgrass prairie remnant in Illinois. Des Plaines Conservation Area provides 2,000 acres of additional grassland habitat.
Key Actions - Restoration and management of tallgrass prairie vegetation are on-going; unnecessary legacy infrastructure (Midewin) and invasive woody vegetation are being removed. The surrounding landscape is vulnerable to exurban and suburban development because of its proximity to Chicago. Preserving open space would help ease the impact of land lost to development and increase an already ecologically
important grassland ecosystem.
Partners - U.S. Forest Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy