Goal: Limestone Township Park District and Kankakee County SWCD partnered to increase native habitat at Hawkins Park in Kankakee. By planting native trees and shrubs and expanding the prairie, we are able to provide beneficial habitat to pollinators and other wildlife, all while beatifying the park for generations to come.
Prairie habitat expanded in January 2020
57 native trees and shrubs planted in June 2020
69 native trees and shrubs planted in October 2020
Pollinator surveys June 2020 - October 2020
Check out the Hawkins Park Project Brochure to learn more about our project and the importance of native plants & pollinators!
Hawkins Park Pollinator Research
The Kankakee County Soil and Water Conservation District conducted insect surveys to document and compare insect species in native wildflower prairie vs. adjacent turf grass at Hawkins Park.
Surveys were conducted June - October 2020.
Insects we identified include honeybees, bumble bees, solitary bees, green metallic sweat bees, wasps, ants, flies, hover flies, butterflies, moths, skippers, beetles, true bugs, grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids (See Table 1).
Overall, surveys show that the prairie habitat and turf grass had a comparable number of insect subgroups collected per trap (Figure 1) and per visit (Figure 2), while the prairie had a greater number of individual insects collected per visit (Figure 3) and overall (Figure 4).
Why is this important? Turf grass is devoid of important native flower species that our pollinators need to survive. Bees, butterflies, flies, and more depend upon native plants for food and shelter. Consider planting native plants in your lawn to help our important insects!
Learn more about the importance of native plants and pollinators on our "Teaching Resources and Citizen Science" webpage!
Native Plants, Insects, & Wildlife at Hawkins Park
Click each photo to learn more about the wildflower!