Type: Natural Area

Owned by:  HeartLands Conservancy

Hours:  By appointment / guided tour only. Public access is currently being planned.

Location and Directions: Located at the southwest corner of New Poag Road and Wanda Road in Edwardsville.  

Facilities:  There are no facilities or parking areas available at this location.

Regulations: This site is available for private tours only at this time.

HeartLands Conservancy reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent.


The Knoll Family Wildlife Sanctuary was purchased and preserved by HeartLands Conservancy in 2023. The sand prairie and sand savanna habitat is rare in Illinois with less than 2,500 acres remaining in the entire state. The site is a protected wildlife sanctuary for several endangered species and is a critical habitat for their survival. 

Regeneration of the prairie plants and wetland ecosystems begins in Winter 2023. The site will eventually feature walking trails and exploration opportunities for the community to enjoy. 

This land is being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as mitigation for habitat impacts arising through the construction of the Glacier Sands Wind Project and Moraine Sands Wind Project in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and The Conservation Fund; through a Natural Areas Acquisition Grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation; and by a generous donation by Mary Knoll Sullivan. 

Illinois Chorus Frog at Poag Sand Prairie by Bill Duncan
Prickly Pear Cactus at Knoll Family Wildlife Sanctuary