Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Lockport at jct. Hwys. 7 & 53, take Hwy. 7(53) south 1 mile to Division Street, then turn and go east 0.2 mile. The nature preserve is on both sides of the road.
Lockport Prairie is located in the floodplain and along the Des Plaines River. This unusual location is largely responsible for the unique character of the prairie community; the plants have had to adapt to a high water table during most of the growing season. The dolomite prairie is a high quality remnant on shallow limestone soils. This type of community has almost completely disappeared from the Midwest. Some unusual plants of the dolomite prairie are low calamint, slender sandwort and Ohio horsemint. The fen vegetation is of high natural quality, and the marshes are in stable condition with little signs of disturbance. The dry ridges have been heavily disturbed by man's activities but still retain several interesting prairie plant species. Probably the most unique feature of Lockport Prairie is the presence of the federally endangered leafy prairie clover. Prior to the discovery of the clover at Lockport Prairie, the last record of the plant in Illinois was over seventy years ago. Also, a large population of the rare prairie satin grass is found here. The preserve is a very significant tract of prime wildlife habitat. Numerous songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and birds of prey use the area. Mammals known to utilize the area are muskrat, raccoon, cottontail, vole and mice.
Ownership: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Leased and managed by the Forest Preserve District of Will County)
Dedicated: June 1983
Size: 254 acres
Topo Map: Joliet 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Forest Preserve District of Will County, 22606 S. Cherry Hill Road, Joliet, IL 60433 (815/727-8700) or Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 100 E. Eve St., Chicago, IL 600611
1/09 - R. Heidorn