Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

THORN CREEK 

Wetland in the Thorn Creek RRA, photo by Mike Jeffords, INHS Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve is a 500-acre area at the southern end of a broad woodland along Thorn Creek. Narrow ridges and deep ravines, broad uplands, shallow depressions, and the stream valley are characteristics of the area. Red oak, white oak, sugar maple, black maple, and basswood are the predominant tree species.

Map of Site
Land Cover Map of Site

SIZE: 20,614 acres; 32 square miles

LOCATION: Northeastern Illinois, southern Chicago metropolitan area; Cook and Will counties

The Thorn Creek RRA is characterized as heavily urbanized with its natural resources confined along streams and in forest preserves. This is a relatively small site.

LANDCOVER : The site is 61% urban/built-up and 24% upland woods. Much of the woods occurs in the county forest preserves; some is wooded residential areas. Small amounts of nonforested wetlands and bottomland forest acreages are located in this RRA.

NATURAL AREAS : The five Natural Areas in the Thorn Creek RRA total 927 acres. The natural areas include examples of upland, bottomland and ravine woodlands, glacial potholes, prairies, and streams.

BIOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT STREAMS : There are no BSS streams in this RRA.

HERITAGE SITES : There are 13 Heritage occurrences: three significant community types, seven plants species, and three animal species.

STATE AND FEDERAL LAND : There is no state or federal land at this site.

NATURE PRESERVES : The two Nature Preserves located in this site feature forest, prairie, and marsh communities.

NATURAL DIVISIONS : This site lies entirely within the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division.

SUMMARY OF SITE CHARACTERISTICS: SIZE, BIOLOGIC RESOURCES, AND PUBLIC LANDS

Total Acreage

    20,614

Natural Areas

    Acreage

927

    Number

5
Biologically Significant Stream Mileage 0
Natural Heritage Sites 13
State Land

    State Parks

0

    State Conservation Areas

0

    State Forests

0

    State Fish & Wildlife Areas

0

    Acreage

0

    Percentage of RRA

0.0
Federal Land

    Acreage

0

    Percentage of RRA

0.0

 


 

LANDCOVER

    Acres

    % of RRA

Upland forest 4,904.91 23.80
Bottomland forest 673.18 3.27
Wetland-nonforested 132.87 0.64
Grassland 478.29 2.32
Cropland 1,669.69 8.10
Urban-Built Up 12,511.54 60.70
Water 242.25 1.18
Total 20,612.73 100.01

 


 

ILLINOIS NATURAL AREAS INVENTORY SITES

    Acres

Monee Railroad Prairie 8
Thorn Creek Woods 631
Thornton-Lansing Road 219
Volbrecht Road Woods 3
Wampum Lake Seepage Area 66

 


BIOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT STREAMS

 

None


 

NATURAL HERITAGE CATEGORIES
Communities

    Occurrences

    Types/Species

    Wetland

1 1

    Forest

1 1

    Prairie

1 1
Threatened and Endangered Animals

    Bird

3 3
Threatened and Endangered Plants

    Plant-Dicot

5 5

    Plant-Monocot

2 2
Geological Feature
Other

 


 

STATE AND FEDERAL LAND

    Acres

State Parks 0
State Conservation Areas 0
State Forests 0
State Fish and Wildlife Areas 0
Federal Land 0

 


 

ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES

    Acres

Thorn Creek Woods 513
Thornton-Lansing Road 80

 


 

NATURAL DIVISIONS

    Acres in RRA

    % of RRA

    % of Division

Northeastern Morainal 20,614 100.0 0.8


Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820
217-333-6880
cms@inhs.illinois.edu

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