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Kankakee Sands

Preserving the Prairie for People and Nature

Prairies and savannas once dominated parts of Indiana and Illinois, but 99.9% of the original prairie and savanna has been destroyed.

The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands Project is a prairie-savanna complex in northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois. The area was once a mosaic of rich habitat including large marshes and lakes, oak barrens, prairies and sedge meadows. Development of the land since the 1800s has caused fragmentation and changed the natural processes of these systems.

Today, The Nature Conservancy and partner organizations have protected nearly 25,000 acres of remnant and restored lands across state borders. Bringing back the prairie, savanna and wetland habitats that thrived here 300 years ago provides a home for rare species such as the plains pocket gopher, western slender glass lizard, northern leopard frog and least bittern. Healthy grassland systems such as the Kankakee Sands Project also sustain our economies, filter our water, and clean our air.

This partnership between the Illinois and Indiana chapters has produced many benefits. See what else the Nature Conservancy of Illinois is up to.

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