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.
We've brought a small herd of bison to Kankakee Sands to help rejuvenate and maintain the prairie.
Use these trail guides to enjoy the diverse habitats and ecosystems of Kankakee Sands.
Hike with us, join us for a volunteer workday, or check out our volunteer intern positions at Kankakee Sands.
Learn about the prairie and savanna throughout the year as you read these monthly nature-related articles written by Kankakee Sands staff.
Kankakee Sands supports globally significant oak barrens, prairies and sedge meadows.
Learn about the different prairie and savanna remnants and restorations that make up our Kankakee Sands Preserve.
Wanting to see Indian paintbrush in bloom? Or maybe you're eager to see porcupine grass in flower? Use this spreadsheet to plan your next visit to Kankakee Sands.
At the beginning of the 20th century, this area looked completely different than it does today.
Spring, summer, fall and winter -- Kankakee Sands is home to an array of birds, wildflowers, plants and animals year-round.
From backhoes to books, you may have items staff at Kankakee Sands needs.