Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve provides habitat for greater prairie-chicken and several other threatened and endangered grassland-dependent birds. A restored prairie wetland has enhanced the value of this site, making it attractive to bitterns, rails, and other wetland species which nest in adjacent grasslands.
Robert Ridgeway Grasslands is 25.86 acres of reconstructed prairie typical of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. Little and big bluestem are the dominate grasses; common forbs include blazing stars, rattlesnake master, Illinois bundleflower, prairie dock, compass plant and rosinweed. The site is managed in conjunction with Prairie Ridge State Natural Area.
Enjoy trails through the restored prairie, and a handicapped-accessible observation deck overlooking the wetland. It is located on 40 acres, about 5 miles south of Newton in Jasper County, and 1/2 mile from the Prairie Ridge SNA headquarters
From the jct. of Hwys. 33 and 130 in Newton, take Hwy. 130 south 7.5 to county road 300N, go west 4 miles to county road 1100E, go north 1 mile to county road 400N, go west 0.3 miles to the parking lot on the north side of the road.