Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois


  University of Illinois Natural Areas


Beginning with the purchase of Trelease Woods in 1917, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has slowly acquired permanent research sites for environmental, ecological, and biological research and teaching purposes. The restricted access sites represent a cross-section of biotic communities native to east-central Illinois and are managed with minimal human impact.

The Committee on Natural Areas (CNA--Dr. Brian Allan, chair) strives to provide secure, long-term, university-owned properties to enhance environmental and ecological research and education opportunities for the Illinois campus. It is the role of the Illinois Natural History Survey’s Natural Areas unit to maintain and manage these sites. Twelve University areas are under the direct supervision of the CNA; together they comprise about 409 ha (1,000 acres). The sites provide access to stretches of the Embarras River, Timber Creek, Sangamon River, Saline Ditch, and the Salt Fork River. All of the CNA sites are restricted access, closed to the public and to recreational activities. Only authorized, minimal human impact research and instruction are permitted on the sites.

Permission for teaching and research may be issued to University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, Illinois Department of Natural Resources personnel, and researchers and instructors from other colleges, universities, and agencies. For further site-specific information, tours of sites or permits, please contact Natural Areas Coordinator.


  Natural Area Sites

Champaign County

McLean County

Vermilion County



For more information or access for teaching or research, contact James Ellis, Natural Areas Coordinator, (217) 244-5695 or Nathan Hudson, Natural Areas Research Specialist, (217) 300-6037.


Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820

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