River Road Seedbed

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Like most of Illinois, very little of Midewin consists of natural prairie – less than 200 acres, scattered in little remnants across the site. To restore the remainder of Midewin to tallgrass prairie and other native habitats (nearly 20,000 acres) will take considerable time and plant materials, including seed.

Three seedbeds, at the Supervisor’s Office, River Road and Chicago Road, provide the native plant seeds from over 100 species of prairie plants to help restore Midewin with native plants.

River Road: There is a parking area available near these seedbeds, located north of River Road along Boathouse Road. This is a wetland species seedbed.

Although some types of wild seed are available from specialized native plant nurseries, many are not. That’s one major purpose of Midewin’s three native seed production gardens -- to produce seeds of native grasses and wildflowers that we cannot get from other sources. Many of these plant species are not commercially available, or if available, not in the amounts we need to restore prairie to Midewin. Even with our own production of seed and plants, it will still take many decades to restore much of the native habitats to Midewin.

For more information on seed production and some Frequently Asked Questions visit the Land And Resources Management section of the website.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: You are most likely to see the native plants and wildflowers during late spring, summer and early fall.
Fees This is not a fee site.
Open Season: January 1 - December 31
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Wilmington
Water: None
Restroom: Portable Toilets
Operated By: Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

General Information


From the Welcome Center

  • Turn left/south onto Route 53
  • Travel south for 1 mile to River Road.
  • Turn right/west onto River Road.
  • Travel west on River Road for 2.2 miles.
  • Turn right/north onto Boathouse Road.
  • Follow the gravel driveway to the 2nd parking lot at the end of the gated road.

From I-55

  • Take Exit 241 for North River Road
  • Turn left/east North River Road.
  • Travel 2 miles on North River Road
  • Turn left onto Boathouse Road.
  • Follow the gravel driveway to the 2nd parking lot at the end of the gated road.

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