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Limestone, IL

The Hawkins Park Project

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The Hawkins Park Project was funded by the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation through their Chicago Region Land Conservation Grant.

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!

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Hawkins Park Pollinator Research

Research Results

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

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Preparing & Planting Native Seeds

Learn how to prepare and plant your native seeds by reusing common household items! 

Toilet Paper Roll Stratification Method PDF

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Seed Identification

Click each photo to learn more about the wildflower!

black-eyed susan seed.jpg

Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

pruple coneflower seed.jpg

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea

wild bergamot seed.PNG

Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

common milkweed seeds.jpg

Common Milweed

Asclepias syriaca

swamp milkweed seed.PNG

Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata

whorled milkweed seed.PNG

Whorled Milkweed

Asclepias verticillata

royal catchfly seed.PNG

Royal Catchfly

Silene regia

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