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 will be dedicated in early 2017 as the Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary: a Legacy Project of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. Gremel hopes that generations of young land stewards and bird enthusiasts will now be able to visit and enjoy the sanctuary. Public access will be encouraged upon completion of a parking area off Lewis Road.
Learn more about Russell Gremel and his drive to leave a legacy from this Illinois Audubon magazine article – Russell Gremel, IAS Benefactor.