Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
The Remnant Prairie
North of Palatine Road and off of Abbott Drive. West of the Metra railroad tracks. South of the ComEd substation. Located in the town of Wheeling Illinois.
The land was prairie and wet prairie based on the original pre-settlement land survey maps. There is no evidence that it was ever used for agricultural purposes, but soil samples indicate some disturbance did occur. The area became a ComEd right of way sometime between 1938 to 1960 when the high tension power lines were installed. For some reason, a community of native prairie plants survived, likely due to the railroad and right of way that was installed.
Native species include:
Common dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum)
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca
Cinnanom Willow-Herb (Epilobium coloratum)
Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Grass Leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)
Biennial Gaura (Gaura biennis)
Wild Bergamot aka bee balm (Monarda fistulosa)
Switch grass (Panicum virgatum)
Gray-headed Coneflower aka Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
Common Elderberry (Sambucus nigra canadensis)
Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum)
Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago candensis)
Queen Anne’s Lace aka Wild carrot (Daucus carota)
Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
This site is a very important area for the PHNRC to collect locally genetic seed from an assemblage of over 50 native prairie plants. The Prospect Heights Bike Path runs through the site in a mostly north-south direction.
In the northeast section of the property there is a small stream - difficult to traverse in spring, dry in late summer.