Midewin is the largest protected open space in the Chicago metropolitan region and the largest grassland restoration ever initiated east of the Mississippi River. 19,000 acres of native tall-grass prairie are being preserved and restored. Midewin’s sweeping landscape on the former site of the Joliet Arsenal 40 miles southwest of Chicago, is in one of the region’s fastest-growing counties. Now owned and managed by the US Forest Service, it will be a tremendous natural asset for neighboring communities and the metropolitan area as a whole. Uninterrupted vistas evoke northeastern Illinois’ historic tallgrass prairie landscape and provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
Midewin (mid-AY-win) meets the Centennial Green Legacy goal of preserving regionally significant open space and is finding new ways to make this major anchor for the region’s green infrastructure publicly accessible. The Burnham Plan Centennial brought new partners together to help the Forest Service plan interpretive facilities and infrastructure that will enhance access to and appreciation of the reserve including its restored prairie, cultural and industrial history. Thanks to the participation of the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Architects and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), there are several exciting plans for state-of-the art visitor facilities, and alternative transportation schemes, to help Midewin realize its potential as the Chicago region’s newest national prairie park.
For a print-friendly fact sheet on the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, click here.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Midewin Welcome Center 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon-Sat
Contact: Marta Witt, 815.423.6370, email@example.com