Nature Preserve Area
Location And Access
From Topeka, take blacktop road north 1 mile, then turn and go east 0.2 mile and north 2 miles. The nature preserve is 0.2 mile west of the road and is in the Sand Ridge State Forest. Special Note: The preserve adjoins Sand Ridge State Forest and is about 15 miles northeast of Sand Prairie-Scrub Oak Nature Preserve. Trails have not been established. Parking is available.
Henry Allan Gleason was a pioneer naturalist around the turn of the century. The preserve, named in his honor, contains sand prairie, dunes and blowouts characteristic of the Illinois River Section of the Illinois River and Mississippi River Sand Natural Division. These dry communities support rare and unusual plants such as silvery bladderpod, prickly pear cactus, porcupine grass and spiderwort. Badger, pocket gopher, lark sparrow, six lined racerunner and regal fritillary are some of the more unusual animals which occur here. One of the unique features at Henry Allan Gleason Preserve is a 60-foot stabilized sand dune known as Devil's Tower. A large blowout is located at the top of the dune. Management practices occurring at the preserve include prescribed burning and habitat enhancement.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
For Further Information
Site Superintendent, Sand Ridge State Forest, Forest City, IL 61532 (309/597-2260) or Illinois Department of Natural Resources, District Natural Heritage Biologist, 700 S. 10th Street, Havana, Illinois 62644 (309-543-3262).