Orland Park Prairie
Orland Park, Illinois, United States
Certified through 2022
Orland Park Prairie
About the Program
Exelon Corporation’s ComEd is an energy utility company headquartered in Chicago. The Orland Park Prairie program manages 1.9 acres of prairie habitat in a right-of-way in Orland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The program began in 2006 to coordinate with the Turtlehead Lake Trail/Orland Bikeway path construction that runs through the right-of-way and follows ComEd’s Prairie Standardization Plan for prairie restoration as one of more than 35 ComEd Prairie Program locations. This long-term corporate strategy includes a goal of integrated ecosystem management by combining biodiversity with environmental conservation and restoration, emphasizing on prairie ecosystems that benefit native pollinator species. The Orland Park program’s location within residential areas and as part of the public trail system provides an opportunity to educate the public on native prairie habitat.
Practices and Impacts
- ComEd Orland Park maintains a strong network of community partners to achieve a successful prairie restoration habitat program. Stantec serves as the technical contractor and prairie experts. Coordination with the Electric Power Research Institute’s Power and Pollinator group and the Right-of-Way as Habitat Working Group produces research and task groups to promote prairie restoration.
- To manage invasive woody species and restore prairie health, both chemical removal and prescribed burns are used. Following the most recent prescribed burn in 2018, Orland Park has documented that seventy percent of the prairie habitat is comprised of native plant species.
- ComEd partners with the University of Illinois-Chicago and the Electric Power Research Institute to research bird and pollinator usage of the prairie habitat.
- Community partnerships are also maintained with local residents to monitor and maintain the prairie’s health. Since 2019, an adjacent landowner regularly collaborates with ComEd and Stantec to monitor and maintain the prairie’s health by removing invasive species.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY