“The history of piecing together the Shirley Heinze Great Marsh Preserve is a great story of patience and perseverance”, says Lagoni. “These protected 85 acres (along with the rest of Heinze’s 2,400 protected acres) have preserved valuable habitat for our local wildlife and the open spaces that give Duneland residents pride in our unique sense of place.”
“This acquisition will facilitate our efforts to restore healthy marshland habitat in this once-expansive wetland ecosystem by reducing the number of complex boundaries,” says Krouse. “To date, we’ve acquired approximately 85 acres in the project area. Restoration activities taking place here include the removal of invasive plants and the seeding and planting of native plant species.
“Shirley Heinze Land Trust’s Great Marsh properties are separated from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore by Beverly Drive, a narrow two-lane road,” Krouse continues. “The sedge meadows and wetlands present here are a haven for birds and other wildlife and a home to rare plants. The area is a designated stop on the Chicago Region Birding Trail and has been recognized as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society.”