Airport expansion causes reduction of Illinois’ little remaining prairie
Illinois’ official nickname is The Prairie State, but according to the state Department of Natural Resources, just a tiny fraction of what once was millions of acres of prairie land in the 21st state still exists. There’s even less left now. In order to make way for an expansion of the Rockford Airport, earlier this month, a bulldozer plowed its way through part of Bell Bowl Prairie in Rockford, which was home to several endangered or threatened species that make their home on that particular kind of prairie. This was after a legal battle waged by environmental groups to prevent the destruction of the prairie while still allowing for airport expansion.
The prairie won’t be completely gone – even after the expansion, parts of it will remain. But it’s still a loss for the groups that worked to try to save some of the state’s last prairie land. The 21st was joined by two environmental advocates and a journalist who has been following the story.
Environmental Reporter, WNIJ
Executive Director of Natural Land Institute
Community Organizer, Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves
Prepared for web by Owen Henderson
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