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Martin Conservation Area

Loud Thunder Road, Illinois City, Illinois 61259
(309) 558-3593

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to 10:00PM

The Martin Conservation Area is the newest property under the jurisdiction of the Forest Preserve District. The Martin Conservation Area is a 240-acre tract of land west of Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, along Illinois’ Great River Road. Amenities include:

  • Hiking trail
  • Natural landscape
  • Bird watching

Martin Conservation Area History

When Mr. Martin passed away in 1994, he left the land to the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District for the use and enjoyment by local residents. Mr. Martin knew this area was not ideal for farming and valued the area for its natural beauty. He believed the property would be a great addition to Loud Thunder.

Elizabeth Hayes from the University of Illinois Extension conducted a six-month background study and recommendation assessment in 2006. The property is part of the ecologically significant Milan Bottoms, and offers many natural and cultural resources, including:

  • 170 acres of native woodland
  • 2 acres of direct seeded hardwood trees
  • 5 acres of plants mixed shrubs
  • 22 acres of tall-grass prairie restoration
  • 41 acres of cool season grass legume habitat
  • 63.9 acres enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and managed for wildlife
  • 4,360 feet of gravel bottom stream
  • Soil erosion control practices including a grade stabilization structure, grassed waterways, and stream bank stabilization
  • Diverse wildlife that includes, white-tailed deer, turkey, and migratory birds.

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