on SIUE Campus, Edwardsville, IL

by Elaine AbuSharbain

This small priaire is to show students and the public what Illinois was once like.  Illinois was once covered with tallgrass prairie, an ecosystem which began 8000 years ago after the glaciers retreated.  By 1850, most of it was gone after the invention of the steel plow to break the sod.
Today, few remants and restorations remain, less than .01%.  The tallgrass prairie was composed of tall grasses like Big Bluestem, Indian grass, switch grass, prairie cord grass and a large assortment of flowering plants.  Flowering plants of  the prairie are plants such as Prairie Blazing Star, Purple Prairie Clover, Rattlesnake Master, Bonset, Purple Coneflower, Butterfly Milkweed, Wild Indigo, Goldenrods, Prairie Dock, St. John's Wort, Rosin Weed, Compass Plant, Purple and Gray-headed conflowers, Prairie Coreopsis - the list goes on.  Plant List

This Prairiescape was planned, planted and maintained over the years sinces 1996 by the biology education students at SIUE.  In the spring of 2007, biology education students developed a plan for interpretive signs and were able to obtain funds from the the SIUE Meridian Society.  Signs were designed, bid out and are now installed in the priaire to educate passersby. The objectives of the signs are to promote awareness and appreciation of a forgone habitat and to encourage homeowners to go native with their landscaping..

If you might be interested in helping to pull out invasive weeds or to help with burning this or other local prairies give me at call at    618-650-2453  or email at