Jason's Journal: The Rebirth of Emiquon

By Jason Beverlin
Deputy Director of the Illinois River Program

May 2007 — Patience and persistence has paid off: after many years of planning, restoration at Emiquon has begun! We turned the water pumps off in March, and in just a few months, water has returned to the historic bed of Lake Thompson—some 650 acres of it.

Even more remarkably, we’re starting to see native wetlands plants return on their own. We’ve spotted at least eight different plants pushing up through the soil, probably from the soil seed bank, where these seeds have lain dormant for years. It’s incredible that just over a year ago, this was 7,000 acres of soybeans and cornfields. And now—we’ve got a preserve.