St. Joseph Wetland
St. Joseph, IL
The St. Joseph Wetland project is located on both sides of US 150 on the west edge of St. Joseph. In 1999 the property owners (2) were approached to determine if they would be interested in selling their property to the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) to have it restored. They agreed and an application was made to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through the C2000 program to obtain funding to make the purchase. The CCSWCD Board wanted the project to be a place where residents could enjoy the wetland and students could learn wetland ecology.
The application was submitted and funding provided for the purchase of the property and some of the restoration expenses. The process moved slowly and the finally purchase was on February 16th 2005. The land (67 acres) is now owned by the CCSWCD with a conservation easement held by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
A plan for development for the north side of the road was developed with several scrapes and 2 ponds that contain water control structures to control the water level in the ponds. This will provide an area for wet prairie plants on the site.
Future hopes for the site include a raised parking lot on the north side and possibly tying an observation deck into the proposed bike path on the south side. A plan for the wetland restoration on the South side is also under development.