Chicago Partnership Leads to Progress
Prescribed fire helps restore native vegetation in fire-adpated communities like those found at Waterfall Glen.
Photo by Forest Preserve District of DuPage County; Tom Velat
To conserve and restore portions of Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chicago Illinois Field Office is pooling resources with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and Illinois State Tollway.
This unique area has a long history of natural and cultural preservation beginning with the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1973, the National Park Service transferred over 2,200 acres of surplus government land to the county for no cost through its Federal Lands to Parks program.
Today the preserve, only 20 miles outside of Chicago, provides thousands of people with great opportunities to enjoy nature in one of the area’s most scenic places. The preserve also has a range of natural communities with a high diversity of native plant and wildlife species.
Waterfall Glen’s prairies, savannas, and oak-maple woodlands contain 740 native plant species, over 300 species of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles and another 300 of invertebrates. The portion of the preserve that will be restored is also one of only seven areas in Illinois that provides breeding habitat for the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana).
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