Don Nelson (pictured) and his wife Espie are long-time members of The Conservation Foundation and our Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition, and have been a certified Conservation@Home property for more than 5 years. Their 35 acres along Lily Cache Creek in Plainfield are under the permanent protection of a conservation easement, which tells you something about the Nelson’s. They have a deep and personal regard for the natural environments of northern Illinois, especially Will County, and are committed to doing their part to preserve them for future generations.
Ten years ago Don and Espie planted a prairie on their property, and have been lovingly stewarding it ever since. They have been burning the site annually, hand pulling weeds and collecting seeds. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Nelson property, and what an amazing transformation in ten years! It was literally a pollinator’s field day in the Nelson prairie, with bees, butterflies and dragonflies flitting about in every direction. We saw several great egrets and a great blue heron wading in Lily Cache Creek. The Nelson’s prairie was just bursting with all of the love and dedication they have poured into it all of these years, and we sincerely commend them for their efforts.
By Jim Kleinwachter, Conservation@Home Program Manager