Activists say the fight to save Bell Bowl Prairie is far from over

Flowers near Bell Bowl Prairie
Flowers near Bell Bowl Prairie(Conor Hollingsworth)
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 10:25 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It’s a fight that’s gone on for more than a year, which many advocates believe has a simple solution. “Redesign that airport expansion, move that road, and save an 8000 year old prairie that’s never been touched,” said Bell Bowl Prairie Advocate Laura Stamp.

However, despite all efforts, activists feel since the Chicago Rockford International Airport announced plans to build through the heart of Bell Bowl Prairie, compromise feels out of reach.

“They can rebuild this, they can redesign it, and they’re just refusing to do it,” said Stamp. Stamp believes no matter the cost building around the prairie, the cost of losing it is far greater. That’s why she made the hour and a half drive from Oak Park, to join others as they urge Rockford leaders to put pressure on the airport board to meet halfway.

“You’ve shown how committed you are to the people of Illinois,” said Stamp. “Now it’s time to stand up for the prairies of Illinois.”

“We can all be heroes, we can change it, we can save that prairie,” said Bell Bowl Prairie Advocate Pat Kenny.

Rockford Alderperson Bill Rose continues to encourage people to call the Airport Authority, in hopes of saving the piece of land. Stamp hopes if the airport acknowledges the historic importance of Bell Bowl, it will serve as an example for future generations to come.

“What can happen if advocates for the economy, and the environment work together to create something amazing,” said Stamp.

23 News reached out to RFD for comment on the expansion, but did not hear back.