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Prairie Green Preserve
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Overview

Prairie Green Preserve is a 580-acre publicly-owned prairie/wetland restoration and passive recreation site.

After the sale of $10 million in bonds for the purchase of land, 360 acres were acquired between 1999 and 2002. An additional 80 acres were acquired with the Kane County Forest Preserve district in 2002. The City accepted 140 acres of surplus land from the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2003, bringing Prairie Green to its current 580 acres.


Objectives
  • Establish a large publicly owned open space that defines the west edge of the City;
  • Restore the pre-settlement native vegetation on the site, including native prairie plants and wetlands;
  • Create opportunities for passive recreation activities such as hiking, biking, birding and exploring nature; and
  • Enhance surface water quality and provide additional management of stormwater in the Upper Mill Creek Watershed.

Prairie Green consists of the following:

Community Garden Plots
The Geneva Park District offers 124 20’ x 30’ plots to residents. The Community Garden plots are located on a 40-acre parcel owned by the Forest Preserve District. 

Under the terms of a 2011 annexation agreement, the City installed a potable water service line at a cost not to exceed $25,000. In addition, the cost of water usage beyond $300 per year will be paid by the Park District or Forest Preserve District at applicable water usage rates. 

Hiking and Biking Trail
Prairie Green Preserve contains a 1.25 mile hiking and biking trail surfaced with crushed limestone. The trail provides an inter-community link between the Great Western Trail to the north and the Peck Farm Park Path to the south. The trail is part of the Mid-County Trail, as shown on the Kane and Northern Kendall Counties bicycle map. 

Wetland Mitigation Bank
The preserve contains a wetland mitigation bank comprised of 106 acres (76 acres of wetland and 30 acres of associated buffer and prairie areas). The purpose of the bank is to mitigate wetland impacts primarily in the Fox River watershed.

Any questions regarding the wetland mitigation bank can be directed to Land and Water Resources, Inc., 9575 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 801 in Rosemont, IL 60018, at 847-692-7170. 

Prairie Seeding and Maintenance
The stewardship activities that have been conducted at the site since 2004 include selective mowing, herbicide application, brush clearing, seed collection, infill seed dispersion and prairie burns. Controlled or prescribed prairie burns have been conducted in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010.

Tenant Farming
The City has leased part of the preserve for farming since 2000. The farmer uses environmentally sound farming methods and performs mowing of invasive plants (weeds) in selected prairie areas.