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Elmhurst Park District: Great Western Prairie Work Day – IPP Main Stem

April 17 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

The Elmhurst Great Western Prairie is a small, long and narrow remnant of the black soil eastern tallgrass prairie that once was the dominant ecosystem throughout the state of Illinois. As a remnant black soil prairie, as opposed to a “prairie restoration”, it has been native grassland since European settlement and contains plants and perhaps insects & animals that have lived on the site since long before that time. It contains several geologic features with corresponding plant communities including a vernal pool, a moist ditch and dry mesic prairie areas. The site is an important birding and butterfly habitat and has been designated a major Monarch Butterfly Waystation by

The Elmhurst Great Western Prairie stretches eight city blocks through the west side of the City of Elmhurst, Illinois in eastern DuPage County. It is bounded by the east bank of Salt Creek to the west (Lat.41.886344, Long -87.959408), Spring Road to the east (Lat. 41.88551, Long -87.94966), the Illinois Prairie Path to the south and the former bed of the Chicago Great Western Railroad to the north (south of Randolph Ave.). The EGWP is split at the midpoint by Berkley Ave. (Lat 41.88582, Long. -87.95450). The site is approximately 6 acres (2.4 hectares) total in size, approx. 100 feet wide and approximately three-quarters of a mile long.

Owned by the Elmhurst Park District, it has been maintained since the mid-1970s by a group of dedicated volunteers, The Elmhurst Prairie Advisory Committee and the Elmhurst Park District itself. That work consists of annual prescribed burns, litter removal, removal of invasive species and brush, planting and gathering of seeds and educational opportunities. As of August 2016, a total of 285 plant species have been identified and documented, including 152 species that are native to the site, 71 native species that have been introduced and 62 non-native species identified. Certainly, many native species have yet to be documented, so that list is an active, ongoing project as new discoveries are made.

Volunteer work days are generally the third Saturday of each month from March through November from 9:00 am until noon.




Please contact Eric Keeley at  if you can come.

For more information, visit the Elmhurst Great Western Prairie  website.

Although this is not an IPPc event, send an email to  if you have any unanswered questions.


April 17
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


David Price, Eric Keeley, Keith Olson


IPP – Elmhurst
Berkley Avenue and Prairie Path Lane
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