Rich. Rare. Worth saving.
Get to know the grasslands of North America
There once were 22 million acres of tallgrass prairie in Illinois; now, one hundredth of one percent of high-quality prairie remains. Tallgrass prairies are places of high biodiversity that are rich in beauty and bright with native plants like purple coneflowers (Echinacea) and pollinators such as monarch butterflies. Prairies are rare, complex, diverse natural habitats. Learn more about the conservation, restoration, and stewardship work being done to protect the remaining prairies and restore others.
noun [ prai·rie ]
- hot summers, cold winters, and periodic droughts
- the presence of fire, both natural and intentionally set
- grazing by large mammals, such as bison and elk, resulting in enhanced plant diversity
There once were 22 million acres of tallgrass prairie in Illinois; now, less than one percent remains. This map shows 6 different types of prairies found in the Chicago region. Stop by and visit!
At the Garden
A Year in the Life of a Prairie
What Makes Prairies Uniquely Beautiful
Meet a Diverse Community
More on Plants
More on Prairie Wildlife
They Play a Key Role in our Changing Climate