In 2017, HeartLands Conservancy began working with partners The Nature Conservancy to conserve property in the western Edwardsville area. The properties had to help support and protect habitat for State-threatened frogs and turtles. Working together in 2018, The Nature Conservancy purchased the 10-acre Poag Sand Prairie site on Street Car Road and deeded it to HeartLands Conservancy in 2020.
In 2021, the adjacent property became available for preservation, and HeartLands Conservancy purchased the ~9 acre site. Today, Poag Sand Prairie is nearly 20 acres of sand prairie restoration.
Sand Prairies are rare habitats in Illinois, and especially rare in our region. The sandy soils support unique plants and animals, including prickly pear cactus, royal catchfly, and Illinois Chorus Frogs.
The new 9-acre addition was once a farmstead with a home, wooden barn, and pasture. The home and barn were demolished in 2020. A pole barn and silo remain on the property and will be used for gatherings at the site and to store equipment and supplies used at the sand prairie and neighboring state lands.