Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

DUPAGE RIVER 

Cormorants in the Dupage River RRA, photo by Mike Jeffords, INHS Morton Arboretum, comprised of designed landscapes, plant collections, and restored natural communities, is a living museum for research and education. Originally the land was mostly forested with some prairies, wetlands, and aquatic communities. The Morton family designated land from the family farm to be converted to an arboretum beginning in 1917. The Arboretum's prairie restoration site is one of the best places in Illinois to experience the prairies of presettlement times.

 

Map of Site
Land Cover Map of Site

 

SIZE: 51,653 acres; 81 square miles

LOCATION: Northeastern Illinois, western Chicago metropolitan area; DuPage and Will counties

The DuPage River site is located in the highly urbanized western suburbs of Chicago. It is comprised of the watershed of the East Branch of the DuPage River. Because of its small size, this RRA ranked relatively high among the watersheds based on percentage of forest and nonforested wetlands in the watershed. Wooded areas such as Morton Arboretum and county forest preserves contributed to inclusion of this site as a Resource Rich Area.

LANDCOVER: This RRA is the most urbanized of the sites; urban/built-up land accounts for 68% of the area. Upland woods cover 19% of the area, some of which is heavily wooded residential areas. There is little bottomland woods. The DuPage River RRA ranks sixth in percentage of nonforested wetlands; they are concentrated along the river.

NATURAL AREAS: Seven sites covering 1,576 acres occur in this RRA. They range in size from small prairie sites (10 and 33 acres) and a marsh (eight acres) to Morton Arboretum (1,423 acres).

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

HERITAGE SITES: There are relatively few Heritage Sites; they include three community types, six plant species, and five animal species.

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

NATURE PRESERVES: Principal natural features at the two Nature Preserves in this RRA are prairies, upland forest, savanna, and sedge meadow.

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


 

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

Total Acreage 51,653
Natural Areas
Acreage 1,576
Number 7
Biologically Significant Stream Mileage 0
Natural Heritage Sites 17
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 9,593.45 18.57
Bottomland forest 507.39 0.98  
Wetland-nonforested 1,351.77 2.62
Grassland 2,706.95 5.24
Cropland 1,309.42 2.54
Urban/Built-up 35,252.98 68.26
Water 925.26 1.79
TOTAL 51,647.22 100.00

 


 

ILLINOIS NATURAL AREAS INVENTORY SITES

    Acres

Belmont Prairie 10
Churchill Prairie 33
East Branch Marsh 8
Lyman Woods *
Maple Grove Forest Preserve 52
Morton Arboretum 1,423
Swift Road Meadow 51
* = point location, map not available

 


BIOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT STREAMS

 

None

 


NATURAL HERITAGE CATEGORIES

 

Communities Occurrences Types/Species

    Forest

2 1

    Prairie

2 2
Threatened and Endangered Animals

    Bird

4 4

    Reptile

1 1
Threatened and Endangered Plants

    Plant-Dicot

3 2

    Plant-Monocot

5 4
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

Belmont Prairie 10
Churchill Prairie 65

 


 

NATURAL DIVISIONS

    Acres in RRA

    % of RRA

    % of Division

Northeastern Morainal 51,653 100.0 2.1


Illinois Natural History Survey

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

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