The site would be a good candidate for a study concerning migratory birds as it seems to be a resting area for various ducks and geese as they travel south for the winter. Attached are various photos of the site depicting the various lakes and surrounding shore lands. Please note that these pictures were taken at a low water mark due to the slight drought conditions.

The subject property is located three miles west of Lincoln, in Logan County, Illinois, and consists of approximately 745 acres. The property is further defined as being that part of Township 19 North, Range 3 West, Section 5-7, lying north and west of Salt and Kickapoo Creeks (see Figure 1 for a site location map). The majority of the site contains an inactive limestone quarrying operation.

Overburden was removed by dragline and stored on site to expose limestone. Limestone was mined by drilling and blasting. Shot rock was loaded into quarry trucks and hauled to the stone crushing plant. After the limestone was mined out, the overburden is cast back into the pit. Property was then graded and seeded according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resource’s Mines and Minerals Land Reclamation permit. The crushing, screening and washing plant, was located west of the active mine. Processed stone was stockpiled around the plant and shipped by loading into over-the-road cartage trucks with front end loaders.

The plant site included a truck scale, scale office, superintendent’s office, maintenance garage and fuel storage tanks. Maintenance of equipment and vehicles was performed on site.

The United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Lincoln West, Illinois topographic map of the area indicates the property has an approximate range in elevation of 538 to 543 feet above mean sea level. The topography of the surrounding area is nearly level, with the subject property located within the floodplain of Kickapoo and Salt Creeks. The closest bodies of surface waters are the Kickapoo and Salt Creeks found along the property’s eastern and southern border.

The floodplain has developed into unconsolidated Mackinaw Member sands and gravels of the Henry Formation that were deposited as outwash during the Wisconsinan Stage. More recent deposits include Cahokia Alluvium sand, gravels, silts, and clays deposited during the late Wisconsinan and early Holocene Stages. However, due to mining, these soils are no longer deposited in the same layers or depths as they would be found in a natural environment.

Based on the “Soil Survey of Logan County, Illinois” the following soils cover the subject property: Dickinson-Onarga Sandy Loam (0 to 7% slopes), Drummer Silty Clay Loam, Elburn Silty Loam, Lawsom Silty Loam, and Sawmill Silty Clay Loam. These soils developed into the unconsolidated deposits mentioned above. The Dickinson-Onarga soils are well drained and developed into sandy to silty remnants of steam terraces. These stream terraces are found at a higher elevation than the surrounding floodplain. The remaining soils are poorly drained and developed into water-laid clays, silts, and fine grained sands found on the floodplain, low relief terraces, and bog areas.

The groundwater table in the area is found in coarse grained unconsolidated deposits under the modern soil horizon. Groundwater would mimic surface drainage patterns and flow from the topographic highs at the west and north toward Kickapoo and Salt Creeks to the east and south. Kickapoo and Salt Creeks are interpreted as being a discharge zone for shallow groundwater flowing under the site.

Habitat, flora & fauna description: 

The site consists of an inactive Limestone Mining operation with a series of man made lakes that are hydraulically connected to the nearby Kickapoo and Salt Creeks. The most northern lake has a high water connection, to the Kickapoo creek located near the 5th Street bridge (northeast corner of property). The lakes vary in depth from 25’- 45’ in depth and there is over 300 acres of open waters. The reclamation permit explains that the seed mixture per acre consists of 10 lbs of inoculated alfalfas, 5 lbs of lespedeza and 7 lbs of brome grass.

The site is the home of various fauna consisting of Morning Doves, White Egrets, Grey Herons, killdeer, Cormorants, ducks, geese, bald eagles, hawks, turkeys, beavers, rabbits, squirrels, coyotes and deer.

Kickapoo Creek and its tributaries are home to a wide variety of animals and plants including: smallmouth bass, spiny softshell turtles, yellow sandshell and fatmucket mussels, bullfrogs, red fox, mink, wood ducks and great blue herons. Streamside woodlands contain giant cottonwood and sycamore trees, among others.

Nearby Parks and Nature areas are; Memorial Park, and Railsplitter State Park.   Elkhart Hill Grove and Sandra Miller Bellrose Nature Preserves are located in Logan County.