Prairie restoration in full bloom near Lexington

Prairie restoration in full bloom near Lexington

Illinois may be known as the Prairie State, but today very little prairie remains in Illinois.

With that being said, it is no coincidence the Parklands Foundation project, in partner with Trees Forever Illinois, is making a difference near the Lexington area.

Trees Forever is a non-profit organization in Illinois and Iowa that helps fund grants to public and private land owners who are in need of plant and tree care in natural areas.

Surrounding areas have included Heartland Community College Nature Centers, Sugar Grove Nature Center, along with a wide variety all around the state, Debbie Fluegel, Buffer Partnership program manager, said.

Fluegel also mentioned the program is aimed to improve water quality and provide wildlife and pollinator habitat.

Interested citizens were able to see the project for themselves at a free Buffer Field Day and Prairie Walk, which took place on Aug. 15. The event was located west of Lexington and northeast of Lake Bloomington.

“The point of a field day is not only to promote Trees Forever, but also display projects that have been done in the past,” Fluegel said.

You can join the fun from noon to 3 p.m., Sept. 20 at the Starhill Forest Arboretum in Petersburg. Guests who register are invited to a free picnic and tour of the grounds that will showcase a wide variety of tree species and especially overlooking the water quality project on Rock Creek.

“Currently, the Buffer Partnership has over 200 projects statewide and works with corporate sponsors such has Growmark, Syngenta and Illinois Council on Best Management Practices,” Fluegel said.

She explained that the group wants to show homeowners they can do something similar on their property or in their own yard.

For more information on how to register for upcoming events and how to become a member, please visit

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