The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is located in the northeastern area of Illinois.
Where is this Forest?



Where people and the prairie restore each other

Entry Sign 1Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is located north of Wilmington, IL and is just one hour from Chicago. Midewin is undergoing a transformation as the U.S. Forest Service and several partners work to restore a native tallgrass prairie ecosystem. (Google Map)

With the help of the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and local partners, part of the prairie restoration includes introducing American bison to Midewin to graze on an experimental basis on approximately 1,200 acres.  In keeping with the intent and guidance of the Midewin Prairie Plan, the experiment will provide information on how bison improve the diversity of native vegetation on restored prairies, compared to similar prairie restoration sites without bison. The Forest Service will also monitor how bison grazing on restored prairie provides suitable habitat for a suite of grassland birds.

While the bison (30-35) are scheduled to arrive this fall, Midewin and the NFF and local partners are planning a public event in the spring of 2016 to celebrate their arrival.

Visit the Bison Project web page to see how Midewin has been busy getting ready for their arrival.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to recieve updates related to the Bison Project and many other activites on Midewin.

Read more about Midewin's history, mission, and shared vision.


Chicago before European settlers

WBEZ asks what Chicago looked like in the early 1800s. Take a tour of Midewin and learn about our restoration inspiration!

A Grassroots Effort

Newsman Bill Kurtis commends the power of prairie and mentions Midewin!