The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Program Partners


The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Will County, Illinois, was created by the Illinois Land Conservation Act in 1996.  The Act directed the Army to transfer 19,165 acres of the former Joliet Arsenal to the U.S. Forest Service for native habitat restoration, education and research, and recreation opportunities.  Today, the 19,000-acre prairie is the largest public open space in northeastern Illinois and one of the most ambitious prairie restoration projects ever attempted. 

Partner Category: Public Agency

Centennial Activities

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

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.

Midewin Tallgrass Prairie: Requests for Prairie Learning Center Designs

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

The Burnham Centennial provides the context and a timely opportunity to seek out new and innovative ideas for making the tremendous resources of the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie available to the diverse Chicago community in ways that enhance both our natural environment and the region’s quality of life. Chicago professionals have the opportunity to design a Burnham Plan Centennial at Midewin in southwestern Will County. The project consists of two separate but integrated open-air, visitor/education areas. [MORE]

Midewin National Tallgrass  Prairie

Open to the public:
Midewin Welcome Center 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon-Sat


Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
30239 South State Route 53
Wilmington, IL 60481
(815) 423-6370
(815) 423-6376 (fax)
[Get Directions]

Contact: Marta Witt at or (815) 423-6370

The Burnham Plan Centennial
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