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Grand Prairie Friends' mission is to preserve and restore natural communities in east-central Illinois and promote an understanding and appreciation of natural resources.
Grand Prairie Friends was formed in 1984, when a group of citizens joined together with a commitment to preserve and restore tallgrass prairie in East-Central Illinois. That year GPF purchased 6-acres of prairie along an abandoned railroad right-of-way. A few years later, GPF purchased 10 acres of high quality sand prairie and wetland, which contains a variety of rare plants and insects, and in 1992, dedicated this land as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Today, we own 45 acres of land at six sites, and our volunteers help manage hundreds of acres at over 30 sites. In addition to land protection, GPF partners with local forest preserve districts and park districts to manage and restore natural areas. One of our most ambitious reconstruction projects is a long-term agreement with the Champaign County Forest Preserve to restore a 30-acre savanna, prairie, and wetland complex. In addition to preservation and restoration, GPF is committed to community education. GPF volunteers lead trips to local praire remnants, and give community presentations.
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