Native hardwood forests were historically the main land cover in southern Illinois. The land was in agricultural use in recent years, but is now being returned to forest. Because of the high number of reforestation projects occurring, Illinois is experiencing a shortage of locally grown seedlings. In order to combat this problem The Nature Conservancy of Illinois established the Grassy Slough Preserve Hardwood Seedling Nursery, located in the heart of the Cache River Region. The Global ReLeaf grant provided for a portion of the start up costs of the nursery as well as tree planting costs. By November 1999, 350,000 native trees were grown from locally collected seed and planted on 833 acres of a former vegetable and grain farm. In the fall of 2000 an additional 41,325 trees were planted. These trees will provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. This nursery will hopefully continue to produce tree seedlings for southern Illinois for years to come.
This project was supported by our corporate partner, the Alcoa Foundation.
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