The Forest Preserve has received a grant from ComEd and Openlands that will benefit the federally-endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly and other pollinator species.
The $10,000 grant will be used at Prairie Bluff Preserve in Crest Hill to restore a 28-acre former agricultural field to prairie. Another 11 acres of existing prairie will be improved through overseeding with a more diverse mixture of plant species.
The restored areas at Prairie Bluff will provide a feeding ground and buffer habitat for Hine’s emerald dragonflies living in the nearby Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve, which features the wetland rivulets, pristine groundwater and dolomite prairie the dragonflies need to survive.
The grant is part of ComEd’s annual Green Region Program.
The restoration work will reduce the risk of agricultural contamination in the dragonflies’ habitat. It also will complement a five-year aquatic ecosystem restoration project being performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Prairie Bluff and Lockport Prairie preserves, which are located on opposite sides of Route 53 in Lockport Township.
The ComEd grant marks the sixth year that the company is partnering with Openlands, which administers the grants.
For information on Forest Preserve restoration efforts, visit reconnectwithnature.org.