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Illinois

Jason's Journal: Helping Hands at Emiquon

Emiquon is known for being a large floodplain restoration project, with 5,800 acres of wetlands. Less obvious are the adjacent 200 acres of wet prairie and 400 acres of upland prairie being restored on the preserve. This summer, nine members of the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) worked on prairie restoration for two days with guidance from our restoration manager, Tharran Hobson.

This visit by the YCC was possible due to The Nature Conservancy's ongoing partnership with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employs students each summer to participate in conservation opportunities, this was the first time we were fortunate to have YCC join us.

The students helped with a number of tasks including planting prairie plugs on the ridge front and removing invasive species. They were able to remove locus from 20 acres of the tall grass prairie and they removed sweet clover from the ridge top prairie. YCC was able to accomplish a lot in the short time they were at the preserve.

It was refreshing to see the YCC members' commitment to conservation. The prairie restoration done by the students was a rewarding experience for both the Emiquon staff and YCC. These students were able to work and learn about preservation by succesfully helping us restore and rehabilitate the Emiquon Preserve.

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