Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
There is no developed access to this preserve; please contact the Libertyville Township Open Space District before entering the area.
Liberty Prairie is comprised of several outstanding plant communities including a small virgin prairie that was only lightly grazed. The species richness indicates that most of the preserve was never plowed. Over 150 species of native flowering plants, ferns and fern allies have been found in the prairie and wetland communities. Other communities here are graminoid fen, sedge meadow and marsh. Prairie communities of Liberty Prairie exist along a drainageway on the edge of a morainal ridge on the west side of the Des Plaines River valley. In the early spring, the prairie is highlighted by the diminutive blossoms of species such as blue-eyed grass, yellow star grass and shooting star. Mid summer displays of marsh blazing star and marsh phlox are spectacular. In the fall the composites fill the landscape with blues, purples and golds of asters and goldenrods. The fen harbors such calciphiles as grass-of-Parnassus, Riddell's goldenrod, bottlebrush sedge and sterile sedge. Slender bog arrow-grass grows on the edge of the fen. Tufted loosestrife, marsh skullcap and marsh vetchling flourish among the tussock sedge in the sedge meadow. The fauna of Liberty Prairie is quite diverse. The native insects include six remnant restricted butterflies and moths. The smooth green snake inhabits the prairies and several wetland birds nest in the preserve. The preserve is part of a 2500-acre macrosite being planned cooperatively by public and private landowners.
Ownership: Libertyville Township Open Space District
Dedicated: December 1990
Size: 66.069 acres with buffer
Topo Map: Libertyville 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Libertyville Township, 359 Merrill Court, Libertyville, IL 60048 (708/816-6800)
03/10 R. Heidorn