Northwest Illinois

Photo Credit: Caleb DeWitt

Northwest Illinois

Photo Credit: Caleb DeWitt

About Our Chapter

Mission and Service Area

The Northwest Illinois chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts (NIPE) is committed to the protection, restoration, and management of prairies, savannas, and other fire-dependent ecosystems in the Driftless Area of Illinois. The area contains hill prairie, oak woodland, sand prairie, oak savanna,  sedge meadow, oak barren, and tallgrass (black soil) prairie. NIPE primarily serves Jo Daviess, Carroll, Stephenson and Whiteside counties.

Spring 2024 Update

Ayers Sand Prairie Tour

Randy Nyboer will lead NIPE members on a tour of Ayers Sand Prairie on Friday, May 24. This preserve, over 100 acres and owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), is located about three miles south of Savanna, Illinois. Interested members can drive themselves or carpool from the parking lot of Wapello Land & Water Reserve on Route 84 just south of Hanover, Illinois. Carpoolers will depart from Wapello no later than 8:15 a.m. NIPE members should look for an email from Laura Dufford with more information. For more information about this preserve, see the IDNR webpage: https://dnr.illinois.gov/inpc/area.area1carrollayerssandprairie.html  

Hanley Savanna Summer Survey

Pam Johnson and Laura Dufford will again walk Hanley Savanna this year on Monday mornings from late spring through early autumn. They will observe animal, insect, bird, and plant life. Their first walk is scheduled for Monday, May 13 at 9 a.m. with a birding focus. Specific survey walks will be open to the public in July and August (dates to be determined).

Here are some photos taken during last year’s survey of Hanley Savanna:

BOARD REPRESENTATIVE

Jay Rutherford

Email

CHAPTER CONTACT

TBD

BOARD REPRESENTATIVE

Jay Rutherford

Email

CHAPTER CONTACT

TBD

Lupins by Laura Dufford

Yellow-breasted chat by Pam Johnson

Leadplant by Laura Dufford

August Family Event at Hanley Savanna

A seed picking and flower dissection art project will take place on Saturday, September 7 from 10 a.m.-12 noon, weather permitting. NIPE will supply all items necessary for family members to collect seeds to take home for their own properties and to dissect and create art projects from prairie flowers in the Hanley Savanna shelter. NIPE will also supply snacks. Participants should dress for the weather, bring water, and bug spray. In case of inclement weather or dangerously hot temperatures, participants should also check NIPE’s Facebook page earlier that morning to make sure the event will take place.

 

Seed Picking

NIPE continues to offer prairie seeds to help with prairie restorations on properties owned by the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation. There will be a few days when we need volunteers to help with seed picking. If you are interested in helping, contact Laura Dufford (EMAIL) to be added to the email list.

Barb Siekowski, NIPE’s Seed Coordinator reports: “Spring brings the start of field work for NIPE’s seed program as plants emerge and site visits begin. The seed shed is cleaned, and equipment repaired; work plans have been reviewed for our rare plant gardens. This year we will complete the restoration seeding at the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation’s Rutherford Refuge, focusing on the property’s mesic prairie, savanna, and extensive wetlands and sedge meadow bordering the eastern edges of Clear Creek.”

Current Steering Committee Members

With Jake Pulfer now working in Wisconsin, he has relinquished his position on NIPE’s Steering Committee members. Thank you, Jake, for helping guide NIPE over the past few years! The remaining Steering Committee members are Laura Dufford, Leanne Martin, Jay Rutherford, Barb Siekowski, and Vicky Wegner.

WHAT’S NEW

Upcoming

Events

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