2019 Annual Gathering

2019 Annual Gathering of the Illinois Native Plant Society

An examination of the plants and ecosystems of the Hennepin Bend area

Green River Conservation Area

June 21 -23, 2019, at Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, IL

  • Gary Sullivan, keynote speaker
  • Host Partner: Illinois Valley Community College
  • Field Trip Partners: The Wetlands Initiative

Registration Information

Registration Deadline – Online Registrations are now closed. You can still register onsite, but meals will not be provided.

Registration Options

Full Conference
INPS Member (includes: mixer, boxed lunch and banquet) – $65
Non-member (includes: mixer, boxed lunch, banquet, and one-year INPS membership) – $90
Student (includes: mixer, boxed lunch and banquet) – $55
2018 Grantees (includes: mixer, boxed lunch and banquet) – No Cost

Saturday and Sunday
INPS Member (includes: boxed lunch and banquet) – $50
Non-member (includes: boxed lunch, banquet and one-year INPS membership) – $75
Student (includes: boxed lunch and banquet) – $40

There are two ways to register. First, download the Annual Gathering Registration Packet which has a mail-in registration form on the last page which you can fill in and mail with a check. Download the Packet here:

2019 Annual Gathering Packet

Second, you can register and pay online (with credit or debit card) here:

2019 Annual Gathering Online Registration

Schedule of Events

Friday, June 21: Registration and evening activities will be located in CTS124/125, Illinois Valley Community College, 815 N Orlando Smith Road Oglesby, IL 61348

5:00 – 7:00 PM Registration and Check-in

  • Mingling & refreshments.
  • Summer picnic buffet featuring a Chicago Dog Station, Veggie baked beans, potato salad, and garden salad. Soy dogs available upon request.
  • Silent auction items on display

6:30 – 6:45 PM Welcome to the 2019 Annual Gathering and announcements.

  • President Jerry Corcoran welcomes us to Illinois Valley Community College

7:00 – 7:30 PM Keynote speaker: Gary Sullivan, The Wetland Initiative

7:30 – 8:15 Grant awardees introductions , Bragging and Raffle

  • A few words from our INPS grant recipients followed by “Brag Bucket” wherein members get to brag to the rest of us about things they are proud of, such as Chapter or personal activities. Braggarts place $5 in the bucket and receive three raffle tickets toward an edition of the Flora of the Chicago Region signed by authors and artist to be drawn Saturday evening

Saturday, June 22: Field Trip Agenda

7:00 AM Breakfast on your own

8:00 AM Meet at Illinois Valley Community College for all-day field trips

8:30 AM Depart for all-day field trips

Noon Lunch provided in the field

4:00 PM All field trips returned to IVCC

4:00-5:00 PM Free time

Saturday Evening Activities

5:00 PM Silent Auction Begins

5:00 – 5:30PM Membership Meeting and Chapter Reports

5:15 – 6:30PM Banquet

  • Veggie Lasagna, Grilled Chicken Salad, Sweet Italian Sausage, Cannoli

6:45 PM Silent Auction Closes

7:00 PM Dismiss to Summer Solstice Evening Field trips

Sunday Activities, June 23

7:30 AM Breakfast on your own

8:30 AM Meet for Sunday field trips

9:00 AM Depart for field trips

Field Trips

Naschua Grasslands

Saturday, June 22, 8:30 – 4:00

Amboy Marsh: Difficulty – Moderate

  • Amboy Marsh was purchased by the Illinois Audubon Society in 2012. This acquisition provides for permanent protection of a rare and fragile portion of the Green River Lowlands section of the Grand Prairie Division. Amboy Marsh is located in southwestern Lee County and is a 302-acre wetland complex interspersed with black oak sand savannas, sedge meadows and dry sand prairie. Diverse habitat provides homes for a variety of native plants and animals. Several springs and seeps emerge from the side of sand dunes; characteristic marshes and wetlands here have always been a seasonal phenomenon, a blessing for amphibians that require fishless ponds for successful breeding. A mixture of wetland and upland flora characterizes this special place.

Dixon Wildlife Refuge, including Dore Seep: Difficulty – Easy to Moderate

  • Experience a cross-section of restored and remnant habitats at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, a 3,000-acre mosaic of prairies, savannas, and forests, and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. The Dixon Refuge notably encompasses the Dore Seep Nature Preserve, a 26-acre INAI Grade B seep that is part of the 95-acre Senachwine Seep Natural Area, the largest identified example of this rare natural community in Illinois. A 1.5-mile trail leading to the seep traverses wet and mesic sand prairie, sand savanna, and oak-hickory forest. The trail also affords multiple viewpoints over Hennepin & Hopper Lakes, a restored backwater lake and marsh system in the Illinois River floodplain. Within the Nature Preserve, a short boardwalk intersects multiple seep runs where mineralized groundwater flows from the base of a gravel terrace. Species easily viewed from the boardwalk include porcupine sedge, fen betony, low water parsnip, fen thistle, and swamp aster. The afternoon portion of the hike will be spent exploring Sandy Hollow, a three-year-old restoration of farmland and forest at the Dixon Refuge. A 2.7-mile trail system winds through dry sand and mesic prairie, as well as an oak savanna where many remnant species have persisted.
  • Coordinates for the main parking lot at the Refuge: 41.209609, -89.323798

Franklin Creek SNA followed by Nachusa Grasslands – Moderate

  • Franklin Creek Nature Preserve is located 100 miles west of Chicago and contains a number of conservative species within its canyons, seeps, slopes, and hill prairies. A recent botanical inventory documented 364 species of vascular plants and the site boasts the oldest rock layer in the state: New Richmond Sandstone.
  • Nachusa Grasslands is owned by The Nature Conservancy and consists of restored natural communities within high quality remnants. Bison were introduced to the site a few years ago and can be seen by lucky visitors. We will visit several high-quality habitats at this site.

Green River SWMA & Foley Sand Prairie Nature Preserve:

  • Foley Sand Prairie, formerly called County Line Prairie, contains mesic to dry sand prairie representative of the Green River Lowland Section of the Grand Prairie Division. Although it has been grazed in the past, it is recovering from this disturbance. June grass and little bluestem are the most common plants of the dry sand prairie while big bluestem and switch grass are common in the mesic prairie. A large number of wildflower species, including pale purple coneflower, purple prairie clover, Culver’s root, rough blazing star and rosin weed are present in this prairie.
  • The Green River State Wildlife Area is a wildlife restoration area popular among hunters, hikers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts. Topography of the 2,565-acre area varies from flat to gently rolling. Swampy slough areas dominate nearly a third of the acreage, but the remaining portions are prairie restorations, open fields, cultivated areas or timberlands. Many of these areas are planted and managed to provide more food and cover for wildlife. Native prairie plants are found in many portions of the Green River State Wildlife Area.

Starved Rock Nature Preserve and Matthiessen Dells – Moderate Difficulty

  • Botanize the woodlands, seeps, bluff tops and canyons carved from St. Peter’s Sandstone. Northern relics such white pine, arbor vitae, and Canada yew can be seen in the cool microclimates of the canyons and north-facing bluffs. Many ferns, liverworts and shrubs such as leatherwood, wild hydrangea, and red-berried elder will be seen. A large native American burial mound and outstanding geological exposures will be featured on this trip. These hikes will be moderately difficult, as a portion of them will be off trail, meandering stream sides in canyon floors, and will require climbing slopes and staircases.

Saturday Evening

Summer Solstice walk at St. Louis Canyon, Starved Rock State Park

  • The trails are a mixture of sand/dirt and boardwalk with stairs.  In regards to the flora there will be a mixture of deciduous trees such as oak, elm, dogwood, viburnum, witch hazel, maple, locust, and ash.  There is a scattering of eastern hemlock at the bottom of the canyon as well as eastern red and white cedar.  There are plenty of mosses along the canyon walls and trees, as well as liverwort.  You might find young spotted and yellow jewelweed popping up on the canyon floor near the streams, various ferns, wild ginger, spiderwort, and more. 

Sunday Morning

Dayton Bluff – Moderate Difficulty

  • A master plan is being developed for future amenities, but the wildness of the Dayton Bluffs Preserve is what makes it special! You can experience 100 acres of open prairie in the midst of restoration, the majesty and cool shade of 150 woodland acres, rugged ravines, glistening water cascades, the beautiful Fox River, sacred Native American burial mounds and the Daniels family pioneer cemetery. 

Jubilee College State Park – Easy to Moderate Difficulty

  • The now 3200-acre park is located 6 miles west of Peoria between Kickapoo and Brimfield. Located in the Illinoisan drift plane, the topography varies from flat floodplain ground to steep eroded ravines. Bedrock exposures are found in the park, but not easily accessible. The park has many acres of restored prairies located in the central part of the park, near the picnic areas.
  • The Jubilee College Prairie Dawgs (an offshoot of local Sierra Club) have been restoring the northern part of the park back to prairie and Savanna since 1976. Examples of restorations to visit/view include a mesic field of Liatris , Iron Weed, and deer fenced off plots of Queen of the Prairie.
  • Also found on the same location is a quarter mile of restored roadside hill prairies. The roadsides were steep cut through the rolling topography and once the invading woody brush was cut back, was the perfect setting to reseed pioneer prairie forbs. Walking Tour is about 45 minutes; easy to moderate on mowed trails. Meet at Dawg House.


The Wetlands Initiative Camping
9231 State Route 26
Hennepin, IL

Contact: Anna Braum at abraum@wetlands-initiative.org for reservation

Coordinates for the farmhouse: 41.237746, -89.330825


Lodging will be on your own, assuming you are not camping. There are numerous options in the area.

Baymont Inn & Suites 5240 Trompeter Rd., Peru 51 rooms
Days Inn 120 N. Lewis Ave., Oglesby 50 rooms
Fairfield Inn of Peru 4385 Venture Dr., Peru 64 rooms
Grand Bear Lodge 2643 N State Rt. 178, Utica 178 rooms
Holiday Inn Express 900 Holiday St., Oglesby 68 rooms
La Quinta 4389 Venture Drive, Peru 64 rooms
Starved Rock Inn Rte. 6 & Illinois 178, Utica 8 rooms
Starved Rock Lodge Starved Rock State Park, Utica 71 rooms
Willows 325 Clark, Utica 8 rooms
Bed & Breakfasts
Brightwood Inn 2407 N. Illinois 178, Oglesby 8 rooms
Landers House 115 E. Church St., Utica 5 rooms & 4 cottages
Kishauwau on the Vermillion 901 N. 2129 Rd., Tonica 15 Cabins
Starved Rock Starved Rock State Park, Utica 18 Cabins
Grand Bear Lodge 2643 N. State Rt. 178, Utica 6 Cabins