Braidwood Dunes and Savanna
Location and Access:
From Braidwood at jct. Hwys. 53 & 113, take Hwy. 113 southeast and east 0.8 mile. The nature preserve is to the south.
Special Note: This preserve is open to the public on weekends only.
Braidwood Dunes and Savanna is a remnant of dry-mesic sand savanna, mesic and wet mesic sand prairie, sedge meadow and marsh representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The area is one of the largest and most diverse examples of its type remaining in Illinois. The savanna communities exist in a delicate balance between forest and prairie with fire as the influencing factor. By consuming accumulated litter and preventing succession by trees and shrubs, fire allows the savanna to flourish. Understory savanna species in need of filtered light include climbing vines such as grape and woodbine. Other notable plants of the savanna are clammy false foxglove and huckleberry. The well drained dune ridges and high blowouts contain western prairie species such as prickly pear cactus. Eastern coastal plain species including yellow-eyed grass, grass pink and tubercled orchid occur in the low wet swales. Due to the wide diversity of habitats within the preserve, the potential for numerous wildlife species is great. Over 30 species of birds have been identified and several species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates have been observed. Tiger salamander, western chorus frog, six-lined racerunner, western slender glass lizard, bullsnake and bluebirds are some of the more uncommon animals known from this preserve.
Ownership: Forest Preserve District of Will County
Dedicated: May 1981
Size: 314.163 acres with buffer
Topo Map: Wilmington and Essex 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Forest Preserve District of Will County, 22606 S. Cherry Hill Road, Joliet, IL 60433 (815/727-8700)
3/2010 - R. Heidorn