Pratt's Wayne/Phillip State Park Grassland Complex
Pratt's Wayne Woods is the largest forest preserve in DuPage County. Located in northern Illinois, northwest of the town of Bloomingdale, Pratt's Wayne Woods contains 2,600 acres. It connects to Illinois Department of Natural Resource land to the north, forming a continuous 4,000-acre stretch of land, a scarce resource in a growing urban area.
Habitats include savanna, marsh, meadow and wetlands. The preserve's Brewster Creek area is the site of a major wetland restoration program.
The Pratt's Wayne complex contains grassland and wetland habitat for a variety of important state breeders including Yellow-headed Blackbird, Sandhill Crane, Common Moorhen, Pied-billed Grebe, Henslow's Sparrow, Bell's Vireo and Dickcissel. A colony of Great Blue Herons also uses the preserve during nesting season.
Wintering birds include Northern Harrier and diving ducks such as the Common Goldeneye.
This site was chosen as an IBA because it met the criteria for breeding Sandhill Crane, Henslow's Sparrow, King Rail, Black Rail, Least Bittern, American Bittern, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
Road development through Fermi National Laboratory will add traffic to and cause potential widening of Powis Road, which runs through the preserve. Widening of the EJ&E railroad tracks, which also run through the preserve, could also be a threat.
Fallow fields and grasslands comprise a majority of the site, which is in the midst of a major restoration. For example, the Brewster Creek Wetland Restoration Initiative has restored more than 800 acres of native habitats over the last five years. Additional wetland restoration is also planned. Other management occurring at the site includes grassland restoration, prescribed burns, and exotic floral removal. The end result should be a complex of restored grasslands, wetlands and forests.
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