MuseumLink Project Info
  Introduction: The Prairie Is Complex    
People on the Prairie
Temperature Extremes
Prairie to Farmland
Prairie Ecosystems
Prairie Restoration
Planting a Prairie Garden
Human Voices
Inspiration for Art
Restoration Game
Teacher Orientation
Goose Lake Prairie
Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve, early spring
"There seemed to be no edge to the land. The very weight of the sky made Addie duck her head a little. She felt so frightened and small! She turned around and around, but every way she looked the view was the same rolling prairie stretching for miles and miles."
- from Laurie Lawlor’s Addie Across the Prairie

"Most the land was prairie. It rolled on forever, like the back of some huge animal that might get up and run."
- from David Williams’ Grandma Essie’s Covered Wagon.

The Grand Prairie of Illinois covered much of the central part of the state. The land in this area is flat to gently rolling, a result of glacial activity. 

Anderson Map, Illinois 1820

The tallgrass prairies contained many species of grass and other plants. They were home to many species of animals. 

Most of the tallgrass prairie has been plowed and the lands have been drained with ditches and drainage tiles.

In this Web exhibit, the Illinois State Museum presents information from scientific research that shows what prairies were like in past times, what they are like today, and how people are preserving and restoring prairies.

Anderson Map of Forests and Prairies in Illinois - 1820


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