Farther west in Glenview, along the west fork of the North Branch, is the Air Station Prairie. Sixty years of annual mowing as a security zone for the main runway of the Glenview Naval Air Station protected the prairie from invasive brush. The 32 acres of prairie and mitigated wetlands is owned by the Village and is permanently protected as an ecologically significant area. It supports more than 160 native plant species, grassland birds, many prairie dependent insects and 5 species of crayfish. Species lost to mowing are being reintroduced and old field portions of the prairie are being actively managed.
In October of 2017, 30+acres of this 32-acre site were dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve, recognizing this beautiful remnant of the “globally imperiled” prairie landscape.
Directions: From the Edens Expressway; go west on Willow Road, past Waukegan Road and over the RR overpass. Turn south (left) at the traffic signals for Patriot Blvd. Turn left along Lehigh which bounds two sides of the prairie. Park at the south end of the Prairie along Lehigh or in the nearby METRA lot. Meet at the Tyner Interpretive Center at the south end of the prairie: 2400 Compass Road. Patriot Blvd. is also accessible from the south via Lake Avenue.