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----- Press Release -----
August 27, 2015
Oak Bluff Prairie Nature Preserve
The Peoria Audubon Society, acting as a land trust, accepted the gift of 22 acres of land in Marshall County as part of its efforts to protect high quality habitat along the Illinois River Bluffs ecological corridor.
This gift of high quality oak woodlands, savanna, and hill prairie included a maintenance endowment for future needs. The entire gift is valued at over $100,000. It includes the Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve, dedicates Illinois State Nature Preserve. Access to the site is by permission of the Peoria Audubon Society.
Maury Showing Oak Bluff
Located about 4 miles west of Henry, Illinois, the former owners, Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang worked over 20 years preserving and enhancing the quality of the natural features on the site. Maury and Emiko’s enhancements included:
Emiko Gazing Over Frog Pond
This high quality natural area sits on an important migratory flyway for numerous species of neotropical songbirds as they migrate from their breeding habitat in the north to their wintering grounds in Central and South America.
Registered with Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
On behalf of the residents of Central Illinois, Peoria Audubon Society is fortunate to conserve this important habitat for generations to come.
Prairie in Peoria County
A 6.20 acre parcel of restored native prairie was donated to Peoria Audubon Society in August 2010. The 1/2 mile long strip, near Brimfield, IL was once railroad right-of-way. With the rails and ties removed, the property is only 104 feet wide, but has been documented by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission to contain greater than 100 native prairie species, including 4 reintroduced populations of the state endangered Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra).
Brimfield Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve
Much of the credit for the growth of biodiversity of prairie species goes to the local volunteer group The Jubilee Prairie Dawgs, who have been managing the site. The structure and composition of the prairie community has been improved through prescribed burns, brush cutting, and exotic plant removal from a program that was initiated in 1992.
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle
Part of Peoria Audubon's Land Acquisition Policy is that the area should have significant ecological value and provide habitat for native species of fauna and/or flora. The diverse number of native prairie species is supporting a like number of fauna.
The prairie preserve is not developed to handle large numbers of visitors, but all inquiries and questions on the prairie should be sent to the Peoria Audubon Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bluebird Trail at Springdale Cemetery
Springdale Cemetery established a bluebird trail, courtesy of volunteers from Peoria Audubon Society and Peoria Wilds. On March 17, 2007, Peoria Wilds volunteers performed a controlled burn and then installed three bluebird nest boxes near the Springdale savanna.
On March 24, 2007, volunteers from Peoria Audubon installed another six bluebird boxes around the Springdale cemetery property. Paula Ferguson and others from Peoria Audubon monitor the nest boxes on a weekly basis to check the nests, and help the bluebird broods succeed. More...
Thanks for your help!
The Savanna at Springdale Cemetery in Peoria is a native remnant of the tallgrass oak savanna that once covered Illinois River bluffs prior to European settlement - and the only such remnant located within the city of Peoria. In 2006, the Peoria Audubon Board was informed that Springdale Cemetery Management Authority had considered converting the savanna to burial plots.
The Peoria Audubon Board went on record to the Cemetery Authority asking that the savanna be maintained in its natural state rather than converting it to burial plots. Thanks to your help, the natural state was preserved. More...
Deer at Springdale Cemetery Savanna
$11,000 Bird Habitat Project Completed in 2006
Peoria Audubon improved 10 acres of habitat for savanna birds such as Eastern Towhees, Field Sparrows and Eastern Wood Pewees at Oak Bluff Savanna over the last two years (2005-06). The work was financed entirely by a $5500 grant from the Midwest Forester's Partnership and volunteer matching work by Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang on their property near Henry, Illinois.... More
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