UIC's James Woodworth Prairie Preserve
prairie logo
An Illinois Prairie Remnant

How you can help:

Dr. Evelyn Pease Tyner, Dr. Albert Rouffa, Bernice Popelka.

Dr. Tyner and Ms. Popelka were very influential in saving what was then known as Peacock Prairie. Dr. Rouffa lead the UIC part of the effort.
(photographer unknown)

Financial Support

The Bernice Popelka Fund, established at the University of Illinois Foundation, accepts donations to support research and education at the James Woodworth Prairie.

Gifts support Prairie initiatives, and help enhance the Prairie as a research, education and community resource. If you are interested in making a gift to the Prairie, please contact UIC’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of Advancement at 312-413-1898.

Cleaning up debris in 1966.
You would be surprised by
the amount of debris that continues to blow into the prairie.
Photo by Evelyn Pease Tyner

Debris Removal

There are still many pieces of concrete and a post from a sign that need to be removed from JWP.

Insect Identification

Individuals who know insects have many species to find and identify.
Photo by Frank Mayfield


If you are interested in volunteering at the Prairie, please do so! You may help the prairie with:

Maintenance of native species, and the removal of nonnative species

Animal identification and inventory

General aesthetic maintenance with planting, weeding, etc.

Burning of the prairie

Contact the Director.

Complicated boundary of a fall burn.

Volunteering - Burns

Prairies historically burned and we try to burn part of the prairie every year. Ideally, we try to burn a third in the fall and a third in the spring. We change the boundaries of the burns so that at any time there is a mosaic of places burned many times as well as few times and all statuses inbetween.The burning is done by volunteers. We are proud of our history of safety and success with burning the prairie.

The beginning of a burn.

Black swallowtail, taken by Mary Palmer, Interpreter


Interpreters are employed to open and close the facility, guide visitors around the prairie and talk about the inside exhibits when JWP is open to public. Employees also do housekeeping and vegetation management. Typically, we have many employees, each with a particular day of the week as their 5 hour shift. We usually add one or two new persons each year.

The Interpretation Center, from the parking area. Immediately around the outside is a garden within a concrete wall.


Neighbors of the Prairie have special opportunities to help, because what goes on immediately adjacent to the Prairie has an impact on it. Neighbors that remove shrubs from the border fence will help the Prairie. We thank those neighbors who have done so.

Photographer Unknown.

For more information

Contact Dr. Alan Molumby, Director
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
845 West Taylor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Email: molumby@uic.edu

photo by Dr. Evelyn Pease Tyner