Carl & Claire Marie Sands/Main Street Prairie
Location and Access:
The preserve is located on the eastern border of the village of Cary on the north side of E. Main St. From the jct. of Rt. 14 and Main St., head east on E. Main St. for 1 mile. Parking if provided on east end of the preserve behind a farm house.
The Main Street Prairie is 80 acres of high quality gravel hill prairie and restored mesic prairie. Gravel hill prairies, once common in the gravelly soils of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division are now rare and the remaining remnants are small. This preserve offers the visitor an opportunity to view a fine example of this community type with many uncommon plants characteristic of dry gravel hill prairies. Prairie buttercup and Hill's thistle are found here. Masses of shooting stars and bird-foot violets cover the gravel hills in spring. Button and cylindric blazingstars, prairie cinquefoil and prairie dropseed dominate in summer, with sky-blue, flax-leaved, aromatic and stiff asters, prairie gentian and showy goldenrods closing the fall blooming season. Covering the sixty acres of open grassland, the restored prairie habitat for grassland birds. Vesper, savanna and grasshopper sparrows as well as sedge wren nest here. A small savanna remnant on the edge of the restoration provides habitat for nesting bluebirds.
Ownership: Cary Park District and Carl and Claire Marie Sands
Dedicated: June 1991
Size: 114.8 acres
Topo Map: Barrington 7.5
For Further Information Contact: The Cary Park District, 255 Briargate Rd., Cary, IL 60013 (708/639-6100).
1/2009 - R. Heidorn