Illinois Audubon Society purchased 395 acres of the former Green Wing Environmental Laboratory from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois on December 14, 2016. The parcel is located within two miles of the Society’s Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve and provides an opportunity to further expand critical habitat that was once part of the magnificent 100,000-plus acre complex of wetlands in Lee County called Inlet and Winnebago Swamps.
The $2.1 million purchase was made possible through a land acquisition grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (Chicago, Illinois), long-time Society member Russell Gremel, and Illinois Audubon’s land acquisition fund. The land was dedicated in early 2017 as the Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary: a Legacy Project of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. It was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in January 2022. Gremel hoped that generations of young land stewards and bird enthusiasts would be able to visit and enjoy the sanctuary. Public access is available from a parking area off Lewis Road.
- Gremel Nature Preserve Trail Map
- Learn more about Russell Gremel and his drive to leave a legacy from this Illinois Audubon magazine article – Russell Gremel, IAS Benefactor.
- Hot Spot Link to eBird Species List for Gremel Nature Preserve
- 2019 Summary Report of the Avian Breeding Community at Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve and Gremel Nature Preserve
Public Access Guidelines
- Trails are open dawn to dusk
- Please stay on the trails
- No pets allowed