Hackmatack aims to protect prairies, rare oak savannas
RINGWOOD – To those who campaigned to save it, this is a place of understated beauty, sculpted by glaciers and fire and time.
Traffic jams, subdivisions and shopping malls give way to open lands with remnants of tallgrass prairies and oak savannas. Wetlands, grasslands and the remarkably clean Nippersink Creek provide a home to threatened animals, plants and aquatic life, and a respite for migrating waterfowl and songbirds.
Now this open and gently rolling land is home to the new Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, 11,200 acres straddling McHenry County and Walworth County, Wis., that offers a chance to preserve and restore an ecosystem that is more endangered than rain forests – yet somehow still exists so close to major cities.
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