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Turf Converting to Prairie at Roland Olson

A portion of Roland Olson Forest Preserve that was formerly utilized as soccer fields will be converted to prairie in spring 2016. The soccer fields have been utilized by the Hononegah Youth Soccer Association per an interagency agreement for the last several years. The HYSA has notified Forest Preserves of Winnebago County that the fields are no longer needed for their club and they will not be renewing their contract. FPWC master plans call for converting the Roland Olson turf areas to prairie habitat when the soccer fields are no longer in use.

The first phases of the conversion will begin this winter with clearing of trees and brush along the south boundary of the soccer field and along the trail from the shelterhouses to the soccer field. The existing trails will remain and may be enhanced with a connection once the prairie restoration is complete.

Planting of the former turf area with native grasses and prairie plants will take place in spring. Once established, the restored native prairie habitat will support diverse species of flowers, grasses, butterflies, pollinators, birds and other native wildlife.