Although Tallgrass Prairie is a habitat that dominated central Illinois prior to settlement, it is a habitat that is now found in tiny and scattered patches between manicured lawns, cultivated land, and paved urban areas. Being the native habitat of the region, prairie supports a wide variety of native organisms. While this has its own obvious ecological value, some of these organisms-such as birds, butterflies and wildflowers-are also of particular aesthetic value to humans. Establishing a plot of native prairie on campus would provide a sense of place to the campus and all of its constituents, as well as provide an educational tool to students, instructors, and community members. Once established and managed carefully for a few years, tallgrass prairie requires very little additional upkeep or labor. In effect, prairie restoration would in a relatively short amount of time reduce the overall energy (in labor, fossil fuels, fertilizers and pesticides) spent in landscape management, making the campus overall more sustainable.
Petersen '09, Kelly, "Tallgrass Prairie Establishment at IWU" (2008). Related Documents. Paper 3.