Edge of the Prairiethe sand prairies and savannas of the Chicago region

    Mesic Prairie

Between the dry uplands and the seasonally flooded pocket marshes and stream valleys, soil moisture levels are garden like. If burning is frequent enough to discourage forest growth, a mesic prairie develops, turning the sand black with organic richness. This soil is good farmland, and as a result large areas of mesic sand prairie are scarce, existing mostly along old railroad rights-of-way.

black sand prairie at Big Eastern, late summer

    Visit Another Plant Community

Xeric Prairie - full sunshine on excessively drained sand ridges.

Oak Savannas and Woodlands - open groves of black oaks with dappled sun on sandy ridges and flats.

Wetlands - sometimes flooded, rich in life but often maligned.



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