Swanberg Conservation Farm

Family Estate, Momence, Illinois
Project Period: 2008 – On-going

Project Highlights
  • 100 acres of master- planned Active-Family Conservation Farm
  • Restoration of 25-acre Prairie Marsh, 50-acre Prairie/Savanna Complex, 20-acre Forested Floodplain

In 2008, LRMG was hired by Dale Swanberg and his wife Tracy to help them plan, design, and implement their dream of restored native forest, wetland and prairie oasis on 100 acres of previously farmed ground along the Kankakee River in rural Momence. LRMG consulted with Dale and Tracy and provided an overall existing conditions assessment of the 100-acre tract which included a vegetation survey, Illinois Natural Areas Index (INAI) for plant communities, and tree survey.

Restored forested floodplain
Our plans included designs for not only the prairie, wetland, and savanna conservation areas but also formal native landscaping beds (butterfly gardens), organic orchards, vineyards, berry gardens, and tree plantations.

The designs included detailed grading and planting plans, as well as near term and long-term management/monitoring schedules for marsh restoration, trail plans, prairie/savanna establishment, and forested floodplain enhancement. In order to complement the Swanberg's private funding for this work, LRMG submitted and obtained partial conservation funding through SWCD-CRP and NRCS-WHIP programs.

Restored marsh
To date, LRMG has implemented and completed installation and near-term management/ monitoring for establishment of : 25 acre Prairie/Marsh Complex (Field 1), 50 acre Prairie/Savanna Complex, 20 acres of forested floodplain enhancement, and 5 acres of native "butterfly gardens", orchards, vineyards, and berry gardens. Wetland/Native landscaping services have included bioengineering/temporary erosion control, native seeding, live plug installation, native tree installation (#5 and B/B stock), and all adaptive management(selective herbicide, prescribed burns, enrichment seeding, ecological mowing).

Restored prairie
Through LRMG's diligent work and adaptive management style, they were able to transform corn and soybean fields into native marsh and prairie with oak savanna. We have been amazed and excited to see the progress of the restoration over the past four years and are very please with LRMG's service. Not only was Mr. Vicari able to design and deliver a plan that aligns with our vision but has been and continues to be responsive to our needs. We highly recommend LRMG to any homeowner, company or governmental body that desires industry-leading ecological consulting, native landscape design, and restoration management work.

Dale Swanberg