Sunbury Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From I-55 Exit 217 at Dwight, take Hwy. 17 west 9 miles, then turn and go south 0.5 mile.
Sunbury Railroad Prairie is representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. It is located on the Ransom Moraine of the Marseilles Morainal System which formed during the Wisconsinan glaciation. The prairie is characterized by a gently rolling topography. Characteristic plants of the mesic prairie include northern dropseed, big bluestem, leadplant and purple prairie clover. Plants characteristic of wet prairie include cord grass and bluejoint grass. Nearly 60 other native prairie plant species have been observed at Sunbury. The preserve provides important habitat for a number of mammals such as Franklin's ground squirrel, meadow vole and short-tailed shrew. Grassland birds inhabiting the area include dickcissel and vesper sparrows.
Ownership: Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Prairie Lands Foundation
Dedicated: March 1983
Size: 12 acres
Topo Map: Odell 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist, 301 South Date Street, Gibson City, IL 60936 (217/784-4730) or Prairie Lands Foundation, c/o Richard Miller, R.R.#2, Box 41, Forrest, IL 61741 (815/832-5573)
1/09 - R. Heidorn