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Ems Tract

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  • This old-field got cut off from the rest of a plot with the construction of Interstate 74.

  • A few bur oaks were planted here.

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 site is ready.

US 150 east from Urbana through St. Joseph.  North on 2500E for 1 mile to grassy field access lane on the east side of road before I-74 overpass.  Site extends parallel to I-74.



1600-1646 County Road 2500 E, St Joseph, IL 61873

Lat: 40.119507 Long: -87.994169

Directions to the Preserve

Preserve is open for public access dawn to dusk.

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Guidelines for visiting the Preserve

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