Rolling down to the Sangamon River, these woods dazzle the eye with a carpet of wildflowers in the spring. Huge sycamore and silver maple trees tower above. The property was given the status of Nature Preserve in 2021, a reflection of its outstanding quality. In keeping with LCF's mission to connect lands, it bridges two other valuable sites, Sangamon River Park and the Smith House Natural Heritage Landmark.
CHARLOTTE & DAN BRADY WOODS
History & Significance
LCF thanks Charlotte and Dan Brady for donating this 20-acre property to LCF to preserve in perpetuity. Thanks also to John Griesbaum, Illinois Nature Preserves staff, for his efforts in gaining Nature Preserve status for the property, giving it the highest level of protection granted by the state of Illinois.
The property includes a stretch of the Sangamon River, which is on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory for its rich variety of aquatic life, especially freshwater mussels. It is also adjacent to Piatt County Forest Preserve's 60-acre Sangamon River Park, separated only by a narrow power-line easement.
A number of great blue herons nest in the large sycamores beside the river. The mostly wet floodplain forest is dominated by native hackberry, silver maple, sycamore, and bur oak trees. The most impressive include a sycamore and a silver maple over 50 inches in diameter, plus a 43-inch hackberry and 38-inch bur oak.
To the east lies the 4-acre Smith House Natural Heritage Landmark, where the rare Sangamon phlox lives. This subspecies is on the Illinois endangered species list and has been found only in Champaign and Piatt Counties.