6 Ways to Enjoy Illinois' Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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Restoring the prairie
Visitors to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will find a vision of hope and healing as big as the Illinois prairie.
In spring, shallow pools reflect branches and clouds; ducks flap overhead; and the breeze carries the sweet love song of chorus frogs. You'll realize how far this place has come from the days when trucks and rail cars hauled TNT from munitions plants to storage bunkers here.
Near Wilmington, Midewin was tapped in 1996 as the nation's first federally designated tallgrass prairie. Named for a Potawatomi healing/medicine society, Midewin (Mih-DAY-win) is now the site of healing on a grand scale. With volunteer help, the U.S. Forest Service and its partners are restoring the site to the way it looked before European settlers arrived. The work is crucial; less than .01 percent of the Prairie State's original prairie remains.
Click ahead for six ways to enjoy Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, along with suggestions for where to eat and stay near the prairie.