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ILLINOIS WILDLIFE PRESERVATION FUND AWARD
The Salt Creek Greenway Association has received an Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund award. This matching grant in the amount of $1,800 was made possible by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources from funding through donations to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund, a check-off option on the state tax return.
The grant will be used to fund the Eliminate Phragmites Campaign at the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve.
Phragmites australis (Common reed) can quickly take over a high quality wetland and result in the loss of native plants and wildlife if left unchecked by altering hydrology and blocking sunlight to the vegetation in aquatic communities. The invasion of Phragmites into the Wolf Road Prairie wetland poses a grave environmental threat to one of the most recognized and visited natural areas in Cook County and Illinois.
Wolf Road Prairie is an Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site, categorized as a high quality natural community with suitable habitat for state-listed species and is considered one of the finest natural areas within the Salt Creek Greenway.
The purpose of the grant is to eradicate Phragmites and other associated invasive species from the preserve in order to return the wetland ecosystem to its natural function and encourage the return of native plants and wildlife to the area.
It is expected that by the end of 2013, Phragmites will be permanently eliminated from the Wolf Road Prairie wetland as a result of the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund grant and matching funds being raised by the Salt Creek Greenway Association.
Check out information about the First Phase Eliminate Phragmites Campaign by going to Salt Creek Chronicles Winter 2011 issue and scrolling down to page 4 which features a description and photos of Phragmites as well as the arduous work it takes to eliminate it from the wetland.
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