American Land Conservancy and Green Earth, Inc. Collaborate to Create New 126-Acre Green Space in CarbondaleCARBONDALE, ILLINOIS (08/23/2009)FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 25, 2009
CARBONDALE, IL: On July 30, 2009 American Land Conservancy (ALC) conveyed 126 acres of wooded wetland near the heart of Carbondale, Illinois, to Green Earth, Inc., a local land conservation group, creating a new public natural area for the residents of Carbondale. Trails and interpretive exhibits will be added to the site, which also provides important habitat for several bird species. The site will be open to the public in early 2010.
Funded with a generous grant from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, the land provides new green space within a rapidly developing urban area. Green Earth will open and manage this green space as a natural habitat for wildlife that will be available for public recreation and as a conservation education resource for schools and the community.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the city of Carbondale,” said Stephanie Eichholz, executive director of Green Earth. “This project protects a beautiful stretch of land and riverbank in the northeast section of Carbondale and will soon provide interpretive hiking trails and outdoor recreation. We are looking forward to working with our local partners on this venture.”
The site provides numerous conservation benefits. It includes habitat for six bird species determined by the state to be in greatest need of conservation, including the willow flycatcher, Bell’s vireo, black-billed cuckoo, yellow breasted chat, Kentucky warbler, and cerulean warbler (state-listed as threatened). It provides nesting habitat for four of these species.
Protection of the property also preserves a habitat link with Crab Orchard Creek, which maintains connectivity among local wetland complexes and habitat corridors, prevents the loss of wetland habitat, and improves the conditions of an existing natural wetland. The project also protects water quality and helps mitigate flood damage. Green Earth will manage and monitor the property as wildlife habitat.
“American Land Conservancy is honored to have had the opportunity to work within the Carbondale community and with Green Earth and a very generous local landowner on this project,” said Jenny Frazier, Director of American Land Conservancy’s Mississippi River Program. “This project protects important wildlife habitat and maintains habitat linkages that are so critical to migratory bird species. At the same it will provide the local community with excellent new outdoor recreation resource. We are thrilled we could help make this exciting opportunity possible.”
This property is adjacent to several other large tracts of land to the northeast of the city that are also managed for wildlife. “We are very excited we can expand Green Earth’s existing system of natural areas in Carbondale,” said Eichholz. “This acquisition will sustain connectivity of habitats for wildlife while also preserving a significant hardwood bottomland forest along the Piles Fork Creek watershed.”
The American Land Conservancy is a private, non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting America’s natural heritage by conserving land for the benefit of people and wildlife. Its Mississippi River Program was established in 1993 to maintain and restore the natural resources and local economies in the Mississippi River region. For more information see www.alcnet.org.
Green Earth, Inc. is a not for profit organization established in 1974 to acquire, preserve, and provide public access to natural areas in and around Carbondale, Illinois. The organization currently owns approximately 225 acres throughout the Carbondale vicinity which are managed to promote native plant communities and habitats. For more information see www.greenearthinc.org.
Elisa Royce, Project Manager
American Land Conservancy
Stephanie Eichholz, Executive Director
Green Earth, Inc.