Exelon Corporation

Sand Ridge Savanna Prairie

Wilmington, Illinois, United States

Certified through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
Sand Ridge Savanna Prairie
Grassland
About the Program
ComEd's (an Exelon Company) Sand Ridge Savanna Prairie site, 8.7 acres of high-quality grassland habitat on a transmission right-of-way, is located in southern Will County, Illinois. The habitat harbors 160 plant species, with approximately 80% native plant cover, and was identified in 2017 as a high-priority site for pollinator habitat restoration. The site is part of ComEd's regional Prairie Program which manages over 35 prairie sites with the goal of restoring prairies on ComEd's rights-of-way. The Sand Ridge Nature Preserve comprises a portion of FPDWC’s Kankakee Sands preservation system, which conserves more than 1,200 acres.

Practices and Impacts
  • The team maintains this valuable prairie habitat through mowing, selective herbicide, and prescribed burns, and the site's genetic diversity is preserved by limiting the use of seeds collected externally. This is done in partnership with the Forest Preserve District of Will County to coordinate management efforts across Sand Ridge Savanna Prairie site and the adjacent nature preserve, and ensure that this right-of-way site is managed as part of a regional complex of prairie habitats.
  • The team conducted a baseline field review of the grassland habitat in 2017 to confirm the presence of remnant prairie and high-quality pollinator habitat. Since then, team members use plant surveys to collect annual monitoring data to build a plant inventory. A 2019 floristic inventory indicated the site was well vegetated with approximately 80% native species cover. The site is actively managed to control invasive species in coordination with FPDWC using techniques such as herbicide application, and prescribed burning to maintain the habitat for abundance of plants and wildlife.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY