Midewin Celebrates 25 Years with Five Virtual Events
Photo by Bill Glass
Five free, special, virtual events—a major celebration and four panel discussions covering a wide array of natural resources topics and restoration milestones—from January to May, will mark the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie’s (NTP) 25 years of restoration of grassland habitat and service to people.
Four key objectives for management of the land are identified in the Illinois Land Conservation Act (ILCA) legislation, including restoration, recreation, agriculture, and research and education.
Session 1: Midewin NTP: a haven for grassland birds, and more—6 p.m., January 5, National Bird Day. A focus on how a dream is being realized to increase sustainable habitat for native Illinois grassland birds and more.
Session 2: Happy Anniversary Midewin NTP—6 p.m., February 10, Silver Anniversary Celebration, sponsored by and co-hosted with the National Forest Foundation. Popular journalist and prairie restoration advocate Bill Kurtis will provide the keynote speech and two-time James Beard Award-winning Executive Chef Sarah Stegner, of Prairie Grass Café, in Northbrook, will demonstrate cooking for wellness using prairie ingredients. National Forest Foundation President and CEO Mary Mitsos will be master of ceremonies.
Session 3: Midewin NTP: caring for the land and serving people—6 p.m., March 3, World Wildlife Day. A special focus on some of the USDA Forest Service subject matter experts that have made a difference during the past 25 years.
Session 4: Midewin NTP: 25 years of volunteers and partners—6 p.m., April 22, Earth Day. A close look at essential pieces in the restoration puzzle: volunteers and partners.
Session 5: Pollinating America’s Prairie: we’ve only just begun – looking back and planning ahead for the next 25 years—6 p.m., May 20, World Bee Day and American Wetlands Month. A special focus on “pollinating” prairie restoration now and in the future, with a look at the roles of Youth Conservation Corps programs and more.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was established on February 10, 1996, by ILCA legislation. In increments, land where the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant was instrumental during World War II, the Korean War and later, is being transferred from the U.S. Army to the USDA Forest Service. Approximately 18,500 acres of land have so far been transferred.