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"Our native landscape is our home, the little world we live in, where we are born and where we play, where we grow up and finally where we are.....laid to eternal rest.  It speaks of the distant past and carries our life into the tomorrow.  To keep this pure and unadulterated is a sacred heritage, a noble task of the highest cultural value."
- Jens Jensen


This 10.8 acre prairie is one of the rarest types of Illinois prairie, only two of its kind exist in the state.
It was donated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in 1997 to the Civic Center Authority which now owns and manages this high quality prairie.  More than 225 native plant species have been recorded at the site, many of which only survive in such a prairie.


Through the effort of the Civic Center Authority and many others, the prairie was granted Illinois Nature Preserve status in 1997. The prairie was donated to the CCA by the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railway (BNSF).

It is located on the bank of the Des Plaines River and in the midst of an industrial park in the village of Hodgkins.

A full size caboose, also donated by the BNSF Railway, has
been restored and now serves as a visitor center.

Click on the caboose  to see more images of Santa Fe Prairie


to learn more about Illinois prairies click on the dragonfly