Edna Edwards Burnett Land and Water Reserve

County: Champaign

Ownership: Grand Prairie Friends

Dedication: 2015

Size: 20 Acres


Located in Crittenden Township in the southern most part of Champaign County, the Burnett Tract is closer to Villa Grove than it is to Urbana or Champaign. This parcel of land was generously donated to Grand Prairie Friends by Mr. Ralph Burnett, and it will be dedicated in memory of his mother, Edna Edwards Burnett.

A portion of the Embarras River (about 100 ft) flows through the middle of the property. This section of the river as well as the next downstream segment are considered of high conservation value because of the diversity of freshwater mussel species that call it home. The Nanney Tract, owned by the University of Illinois, lies to the south and also protects a length of the Embarras River.

The site is fairly open with few trees. Reed canary grass, a non-native species, dominates the riparian zone. Scattered trees in the floodplain and adjacent areas include green ash, silver maple, Osage orange, honey locust, and hawthorn. Near the bridge on 100N, there are a few shagbark hickory and eastern cottonwood trees. A little over ten acres is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, and oak trees are planted in this area.

Future plans for restoration include removal of non-native plant species and introduction of native prairie species.

How to get there: From Urbana, take IL Rte 130 south about 14 miles to CR 200N. Turn right (west) and drive one mile to CR 1500E. Turn left (south) and drive one mile to CR 100N. Turn right (west) and drive about a quarter mile. Park along the road to the east of the bridge over the Embarras River. The property is to the north.

Please note: This is registered as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, and no living or dead plant or animal material, or inorganic material including soils, minerals, or water, may be removed. We encourage you to come out for hiking, bird watching, nature observation and study, and photography.

Click here to see a complete list of sites we help protect.