Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Romeoville at jct. Hwy. 53 and Romeoville Road, take Romeoville Road east 0.3 mile. The nature preserve is north of the road.
Special Note: Access to this preserve is by permission only. Nearby, Isle a la Cache Museum, run by the Forest Preserve District of Will County, emphasizes the French, Indian, and natural history of the Des Plaines River Valley.
Romeoville Prairie contains wet to mesic dolomite prairie, marsh, sedge meadow, springs, fens and floodplain forest on shallow soil over limestone bedrock. These communities are located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. The preserve is located in an area that provided an outlet for Glacial Lake Chicago at the end of the last glacial period. The large volumes of water eroded away the glacial deposits and carved bluffs up to 50 feet high. The eight different plant communities occurring at Romeoville Prairie support a wide variety of plant species. The characteristic vegetation within dolomite prairies vary with soil depth and moisture content. The wet dolomite prairie generally has soils less than 6 inches in depth and has standing water over it until mid or late summer. Tufted hair grass, blue-joint grass and prairie cordgrass are dominant species. The mesic dolomite has very shallow soils of 3-6 inches in depth and the wet-mesic dolomite prairie has soils ranging from 6-10 inches in depth. Big bluestem, little bluestem and Indian grass dominate. Two other unusual communities here are the graminoid fen and sedge meadow. The fen is raised island of peat due to an upwelling of ground water. The sedge meadow is characterized by peaty soils with water at or above the soil surface most of the year. This relatively large, diverse area provides habitat for herons, egrets and many other species of wetland dependent wildlife.
Ownership: Forest Preserve District of Will County
Dedicated: July 1984
Size: 155.016 acres with buffer
Topo Map: Romeoville 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