Prairie Rivers-led conservation partnership yields success

The Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge

The Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge

When people come together, good things happen. Over the past year, with support from Illinois Clean Energy and Community Foundation, Prairie Rivers Network has convened several organizations who seek to restore and protect the rare and special habitats of the Illinois River system. While we continue to help identify conservation opportunities and priorities, our efforts have already led to success.

Our partners at The Wetlands Initiative recently acquired over 280 acres to expand the 3,000-acre Sue and Wes Dixon Wildlife Refuge. The acquisition will add to the internationally-recognized Refuge by protecting oak woodlands and restoring over 170 acres of agricultural land. We know that the quality of our water is closely tied to the health of the land, and this project represents a great example of diverse habitats from river to bluff.

Restoration at the site will start this fall, and we look forward to documenting the transformation that occurs on the land. We hope that this is the first of many impactful projects that result from improved coordination among conservation groups working along the Illinois River.