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Nygren Wetland Preserve

Natural Land Institute

Nygren Wetland Preserve is owned and managed by The Natural Land Institute, a non-profit land trust and conservation organization. NLI is restoring prairies, woodlands and wetlands to this beautiful land west of Rockton, Illinois along Raccoon Creek and the Rock and Pecatonica rivers.

This is where I began photographing birds and nature. This is where I spent numerous fall evenings at the overlook each year counting sandhill cranes as they arrived in numbers upwards of 700. It’s where I watched American White Pelican numbers increase each year up to over 800, and where I spent a season watching Whooping Cranes depart at sunrise and return at sunset.

Learning from the great community of people involved with NLI and other individuals whose paths cross at the Nygren overlook, I began to understand the importance of protecting and restoring what little remains of our natural land.

This where I began to understand that all things are connected. That what we do to our land, water, and air, we ultimately do to ourselves.

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