Apex Clean Energy is pleased to announce that the Ford County Wind Farm Conservation Grant funds have been distributed. The grant provided funds to the Wigwam Hollow Bird Sanctuary Grassland Expansion Restoration Project through the Prairie Land Conservancy. It also provided funds for the acquisition and maintenance of Ford County’s Prospect Cemetery Prairie through Grand Prairie Friends.
Wigwam Hollow Bird Sanctuary Grassland Expansion Restoration Project
The Prairie Land Conservancy will use the funds provided by the conservation grant to help manage the Wigwam Hollow Bird Sanctuary, a protected area of land in Illinois that began as 18 acres in 2012, expanding an additional 181 acres in 2019. The Ford County Wind Conservation Grant funds will be used to help protect, restore, and enhance 124 acres of woodland and grassland habitat that supports game bird species like the bobwhite quail and ring-necked pheasant as well as other Species in Greatest Conservation Need as identified in the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan. The effort improves a vital wildlife corridor connecting the state's west-central border to Ford County.
To learn more about the Wigwam Hollow Bird Sanctuary Grassland Expansion and Woodland Restoration Project, visit the Prairie Land Conservancy website.
Ford County's Prospect Prairie
Using funds provided from the conservation grant, Grand Prairie Friends is purchasing the five-acre prospect cemetery prairie and creating a long-term management plan to ensure the nature preserve conservation easement is upheld for this vital grassland habitat.
This high-quality original prairie is a tiny remnant of the tallgrass prairie that once covered east-central Illinois. Nearly 80 species of native herbaceous forbs and grasses have been identified, of which 21 occur nowhere else in the county. This unique ecosystem provides essential habitat to a diverse mix of species including grassland birds, reptiles, and insects, including the prairie cicada, only known to exist in one other local remnant prairie.
To learn more about the Prospect Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve, visit the Grand Prairie Friends website.