Nature preservation and research move forward at Emiquon Preserve, in Fulton and Mason Counties, with a National Science Foundation grant.

“It’s one of the largest restoration sites in the country,” says the Therkildsen Field Center’s Director, Mike Lemke. “When you talk about taking river habitat and turning it back into a natural situation, I think Emiquon is one of the flagship activities going on in Central Illinois.”

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Lemke, a biology professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, says the recognition conferred by the NSF could be more important than the money -- $23,000. He says Emiquon will be designated an international site for the study of wetland restoration, perhaps attracting more researchers and even tourists.

 (Copyright WBGZ Radio/