Romeoville, Illinois, United States
Certified through 2022
About the Program
Exelon Corporations ComEd's Romeoville Prairie program is located in Romeoville, Illinois about 30 miles southwest of Chicago. The site is directly adjacent to Romeoville Prairie, a 25.5 acre prairie, which is owned and managed by the Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC). Collectively the natural areas are home to over 500 plant species and provide over 350 acres of natural area in an otherwise urban landscape. The ComEd ROW and nature preserve are part of the Des Plaines River preservation system, which conserves more than 2,400 acres. Romeoville Prairie is a protected nature preserve under the Illinois Nature Preservation Act. Together, the Romeoville Nature Preserve and the ComEd ROW comprise a HED Critical Habitat Unit (CHU) No. 3.The objectives for Romeoville Prairie are to actively manage the site in partnership with the FPDWC to maintain the high-quality native plant community, and associated wildlife habitat; identify and respond to new or worsening threats and utilize adaptive management to respond in a timely manner; and meet ComEd's prairie standards as identified in the Prairie Standardization Plan.
Practices and Impacts
- Monitoring has shown the presence of 106 native plant species and an estimated 80% vegetative cover by native plant species. Additionally, the site scores very highly as "robust pollinator habitat" according to the University of Illinois-Chicago Tier 3 Rights-of-Way as Habitat Pollinator Scorecard.
- The team tracks success year-to-year through use of qualitative monitoring consisting of annual meander plant surveys, identification and assignment of cover classes for primary invasive species, and pollinator habitat scorecards.
- The team retains a specialized ecological restoration contractor, Stantec, to implement annual work plans, assess site needs during each management visit, and adjust work plans accordingly based on most urgent needs.
- An adaptive management evaluation process was initiated in spring 2020 to assess the outcomes of invasive species control. Typical management activities consist of selective herbicide applications targeting invasive species, prescribed burns and brush management.
- The FPDWC is also authorized to conduct ecological management of the ROW through a formal legal lease agreement (Eco-Lease).
DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY