'You know, I could mow that mess for you.'
August 4, 2017 9:34 AM Subscribe
A handful of pioneer cemeteries in Illinois also represents some of the last remaining acres of virgin prairie in the state, as described in this long piece from Christopher Borrelli of the Chicago Tribune.
Pellsville cemetery, which holds 44 pioneers and contains more than 80 native flowers and grasses, is largely untouched prairie, at its dazzling peak in midsummer. It is considered, by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, "Grade-A" prairie, or "virgin" prairie. It has never been plowed, grazed or uprooted. It is as close as we get to what Illinois looked like before European pioneers rolled in, around the 1820s.More about Illinois' cemetery prairies:
Illinois once had 22 million acres of tall-grass prairie. Today, only 2,300 acres remain. But of those acres, many of the finest examples of untouched, pre-settlement prairie sit on 29 tenuous pioneer cemetery plots, fragile islands of untamed land in what is now an ocean of agricultural conformity. Together these cemeteries, often left undisturbed because they are burial grounds, make up about 50 acres. It is as if the pioneers, in their deaths, left us a few seeds of life.
- A photo tour of Prospect, Loda, and Pellsville cemeteries, courtesy of the In Defense of Plants podcast episode 51
- An evocative description of Weston Cemetery published in the Bloomington Pantagraph.
- A Google Map of Illinois' pioneer cemeteries prairies and savannas, based on this article [PDF] published as part of the Proceedings of the 19th North American Prairie Conference.
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