Kankakee Sands Area Preserves vegetation management

Cardno was responsible for the management of Kankakee Sands Area Preserves — an area of more than 1,100 acres of ecosystems across three preserves in varying degrees of restoration in Illinois.

Invasive species removal took place at two dedicated Illinois Nature Preserves: Braidwood Dunes and Savanna and Sand Ridge Savanna. Work was also performed at Kankakee Sands Preserve, which is in the active restoration process. These preserves are home to a plethora of rare and endangered flora and fauna. Cardno coordinated the timing and strategy of treatments to protect native species while still meeting contract requirements.

Habitats included:

  • 52 acres of prairie remnant
  • 212 acres of wetlands
  • 294 acres of natural uplands
  • 400 acres of prairie restorations
  • 62 acres of degraded wetlands and ditches
  • 100 acres of degraded uplands

Staff used mowing, foliar herbicide treatments, basal bark herbicide treatments, hand clipping, hand-wicking, and boom spraying techniques to achieve project goals. Due to the high quality of these preserves, Cardno’s teams were tasked with identifying and correctly treating common invasive species as well as species not typically targeted in restorations. Cardno successfully managed treatment windows for 50 species of grasses, forb, shrubs and trees, and finished the project on time and on budget.