Preserving Illinois Prairies
takes viewers on a geological journey that begins more than 8,000 years ago
when changing weather patterns and glacial forces shaped a magnificent, rolling
landscape that thrived for thousands of years. When European settlers arrived,
there were more than 22 million acres of Illinois prairie. All but a few
thousand acres had been drained and cultivated or urbanized by 1900.
Filmed in spring and summer 2019 at locations across the
state, this new documentary explores the natural forces that created the different
types of prairies once found in Illinois, the complex biosystems that exist
above and below the rich black soil, and wildlife such as bees, birds and
monarch butterflies. As the title suggests, Preserving Illinois Prairies also
looks at pockets of natural prairie that survive (remnant prairies) and the
mostly volunteer work to reclaim and reconstruct prairies for future
generations to study and enjoy.