Ems Tract

County: Champaign

Ownership: Grand Prairie Friends

Dedication: Month 2001

Size: 1.7 Acres

Steward: Betsy and Peter Kuchinke

This small rectangle of land sits between St. Joseph and Odgen off of CR 2500E. It is bounded on the north by Interstate 74 and on the south by row-crop agriculture. Ms. Frieda Ems of Urbana donated this piece of land to GPF in 2001. There is no remnant prairie on the site--it is an old-field that got cut off with the construction of the interstate. As an old-field, it is mostly weeds and grass--fescue, brome, wild parsnip, etc. For many years the site was mowed annually by a local farmer.

GPF has a vision to plant prairie on this site and even start a small prairie nursery garden, but first the weeds need to be brought under control. Volunteers and interns have spent time cutting down white mulberry and other unwanted trees. The site was mowed in 2007 and sprayed with herbicide in 2008 and 2009. Preparations are underway to plant prairie when brushpiles are burned and the the site is ready.

How to get there: From Champaign, take US 150 east through St. Joseph. At CR 2500E, turn north (left) and go one mile to grassy field access lane on the east (right) side of the road before the interstate overpass. The site extends parallel to I-74.

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