Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From St. Anne, take Highway 1 south two miles, then turn and go east 9 miles to Iroquois County State Wildlife Area parking lot. The nature preserve is just northwest of the parking lot.
Special Note: A hiking trail has been established and picnicking facilities are available adjacent to the parking area.
Hooper Branch Savanna is a large sand savanna representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. It is situated at the edge of former Glacial Lake Watseka formed about 14,000 to 15,000 years ago during the Kankakee Torrent. The area consists of dune and swale topography, some dunes reaching 695 feet in height.
Five biotic communities are found in the nature preserve: dry sand savanna, dry-mesic sand savanna, shrub prairie/mesic sand prairie, pin oak flatwoods and successional fields.
Notable plant species include Eastern blue-eyed grass, bristly blackberry, primrose violet, false foxglove, scarlet oak, wild lupine, crested fern, black chokeberry and winterberry holly. Notable animals present include red squirrel, six-lined racerunner, red-headed woodpecker and plains pocket gopher.
Ownership: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated: June 1986
Size: 562 acres with buffer
Topo Map: Donovan and Leesville 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist, 301 Sourth Date Street, Gibson City, IL 60936 (217/784-4730) or Site Superintendent, Iroquois County Wildlife Area, Beaverville, IL 60912 (815/435-2218)
1/09 - R. Heidorn