“National Parks and America’s Railroads” — Tomorrow at Midewin

The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in southern Will County, about 50 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, is the largest tallgrass prairie ecological restoration project east of the Mississippi River, and one of the great open space resources / biodiversity preserves in the greater Chicago region. Midewin sign

Each winter, the Visitor’s Center at Midewin hosts a lecture series on conservation, ecology, and the natural and cultural history of this 19,000-acre prairie, wetland, savanna, and woodland complex between Joliet and Wilmington. These presentations are free and open to the general public.

All lectures begin at 7pm at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Welcome Center (or Hotshot building if additional space is needed).  Doors open at 6:30pm with refreshments provided by The Midewin Alliance. It is recommended you RSVP by calling 815-423-6370 or by emailing Midewin_RSVP@fs.fed.us, as space is limited and seating tends to fill up.

National Parks and America’s Railroads

Join Pat Thrasher, Board President of the Glenwood Railroad Museum, on Thursday, April 7, for the final presentation in the 2016 lecture series.

Alaska Railroad Trestle (Source: nps.gov)

Alaska Railroad Trestle (Source: nps.gov)

The idea of national parks, public lands set aside to preserve their special scenic, historic or scientific values, is a uniquely American idea that has spread around the world. Where did the support for this idea come from? While a growing conservation movement fought a public battle to protect areas like Yosemite and Yellowstone, the nation’s western railroads lent much needed support to the idea.

This program explores the relationship between America’s National Parks and its railroads, from the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern a century ago to Amtrak and the Alaska Railroad today.

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