LUSK CREEK TRACT
The Lusk Creek Tract is a biologically diverse area with both upland and lowland hardwood forests on the property. Located on Lusk Creek and a tributary in the eastern half of the Shawnee National Forest, this is a geographically striking tract with over 140 feet of elevation change on property and elevation changes of over 250 feet just adjacent to the property. The Lusk Creek Tract offers a wide range of research opportunities both terrestrial and aquatic. There is also an old homestead on the property, so those interested in doing research should exercise caution when on site. Lusk Creek Map & Lusk Creek Tract Map.
TOUCH OF NATURE ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER AND CRAB ORCHARD WILDERNESS TRACTS
Touch of Nature was established in 1949 as an outdoor laboratory for SIU’s students. Now the area includes the Touch of Nature Environmental Center on Little Grassy Lake as well as a large number of experimental ponds. However, a large amount of the land around Touch of Nature is not used, but is open to research. South of Crab Orchard Wilderness area, SIU owns another large tract of land. This is characterized by a very diverse upland hardwood forest in various stages of succession. With such a large area available, the research opportunities (aquatic and terrestrial) are very diverse. Touch of Nature Map.
KROTZ NATURE PRESERVE
The Krotz Nature Preserve is a small but diverse property south of Sparta, IL. It is mostly upland hardwood forest with several small streams flowing through the property. These streams have created several draws through the property with a fair amount of elevation change. The property is open to the public and includes a short hiking path through the center of the preserve. The site has good potential as a research and education site due to the aquatic and terrestrial habitats as well as the ease of access. Krotz Nature Preserve Map.
LARUE SWAMP NATURE PRESERVE
The LaRue Swamp Nature Preserve is located within the LaRue-Pine Hills section of the Shawnee National Forest and directly adjacent to the Otter Pond Research Natural Area. The Preserve itself is located entirely within the Mississippi River Floodplain in a bottomland hardwood swamp that surrounds Otter Pond. The Preserve and surrounding National Forest is a hotspot for biological diversity. Because of this, the area is a prime location for research and has a wealth of previous studies to build upon. However, caution should be used when visiting the property as there is an abandoned hunting camp and an extremely busy railroad must be crossed in order to reach the property itself. Visit the National Forest Service site for more information on the surrounding Research Natural Area. LaRue Swamp Nature Preserve Map.
J. LLOYD AND NELLIE M. MATHIS PARCEL
The J. Lloyd and Nellie M. Mathis Parcel is a small tract of land southeast of Vienna, IL. The parcel is entirely upland hardwood forest and, despite the small size, has over 100 ft. of elevation change. The property also has the intermittent headwaters of Mill Creek, which flows into Bay Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River. This site has potential for upland terrestrial research and intermittent stream research. Access to the property is easy, due to proximity to a road, but there are no trails of any sort on the property and the undergrowth is substantial during the growing season, so getting around the property can be difficult. J. Lloyd and Nellie M. Mathis Parcel Map.