The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s habitat restoration efforts at Lockport Prairie East Preserve have earned the district a gold accreditation from Chicago Wilderness’ Excellence in Ecological Restoration Accreditation program.
The accreditation was announced at a special reception held on July 27 at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
The 30-acre parcel is located south of Division Street and west of Canal Street in Lockport. It was given to the district by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority to replace forest preserve land needed to build the Interstate 355 bridge through Keepataw Preserve in Lemont.
After the forest preserve district acquired the land, natural resource managers who tackled the terrain had to fight their way through thickets of buckthorn and invasive species to find patches of sedge meadow and nuggets of native species, including the federally endangered leafy prairie clover and the state-endangered glade quillwort.