Local activists rally to save Bell Bowl Prairie from possible destruction

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:42 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A fight that has lasted almost two years to save one of the oldest and last remaining prairies in Illinois may soon come to an end. Local activists host a rally in front of the Winnebago County courthouse in hopes of stopping the destruction of the land.

“We can stand here knowing that we’ve done everything we can and will continue to do everything we can until the last minute,” said Plant Biologist Jillian Neece.

The Bell Bowl Prairie is home to several rare and endangered species and is essential to sustaining wildlife. However, if the Chicago Rockford International Airport resumes construction the habitat could soon become a narrow stretch of road. Kerry Leigh, the National Land Institute Director, says she will fight until the end.

“We speak for the voiceless prairie and we have been successful in saving it for 18 months so far,” said Leigh.

Although the NLI efforts to stop the destruction don’t seem successful, activists still hold on to hope.

“There’s still hope, there’s still things we can do. You can still call and bother every politician. You can do all you can, but you’ve also done so much,” said Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves Robb Telfer.

After the rally, local activists held a vigil and ceremony near the prairie to enjoy the land one last time before the possible destruction.