Places We Protect

Click the markers on the map above to locate the places we steward and zoom in to see all locations as some are close to each other. You can use the address and coordinates to approximate the location of the areas we maintain. To learn more about our natural areas, please use the links on the right.

Managing Natural Areas

Volunteers with Grand Prairie Friends help maintain over 30 natural areas in East-Central Illinois in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, Vermillion, Coles, and Shelby counties. We own nine of these sites, which range in size from 1.5 to 202 acres. GPF partners with local and state agencies and private landowners to help steward and protect. Many of these areas have formal protection from the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission as a Natural Heritage Landmark, Land and Water Reserve, or Nature Preserve.

A wide variety of ecosystems are represented across these sites, from hill prairie to sand pond to oak-hickory forest. Most of these natural areas have one or two volunteer stewards who are responsible for stewardship. Management practices include prescribed burns, controlling invasive species, collecting seeds, and planting seeds at some sites.