Wildlife depends on protected prairies.

Help save a Hill Prairie

in Monroe County, Illinois…

Before it’s too late.

A prairie in Monroe County, Illinois, is about to be lost forever. 

Less than 1% of Illinois’ prairies are left in our beautiful prairie state – and only 600 acres of hill prairies (i.e., prairies on bluffs like this one) remain. That’s smaller than New York’s Central Park.

In the meantime, our pollinator populations are crashing, wildlife that depend on prairies and bluffs are declining, and extreme weather is causing additional stress on wildlife and humans.

Losing even one more acre of prairie is devastating. 

This 15-acre property is being offered for sale by a family who will give us some time to raise funds. An anonymous donor has offered to match donations 1:1 to save the prairie, up to half the purchase price. A handful of folks have already stepped up to provide time to raise the rest of the needed funds.

Once this prairie is protected, it will need love and attention. But it can be done, and every prairie we protect and restore is a huge step forward. Once conserved, over the next several years, as funds are raised, the prairie will be restored so that it will be a haven for people and wildlife.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for conservation to connect people to prairies, close to home, in a way that everyone can enjoy. For People. For Pollinators. For Wildlife. For Good.

You can help.

We have until August 30, 2024 to raise the remaining funds to save this prairie. Donations of any size are welcome and will help.

Hill prairie in Monroe County looking across the forests in Fall 2023

Above Photo of the property in Fall 2023, courtesy of Debbie Newman

Bee on a coneflower

Other Ways to Help

Are you interested in learning more about how your support will make a difference for wildlife, farms, and people in southern Illinois? 

Contact Mallory Ketcherside at or call (618) 566-4451 ex 10 or click the button below to visit our Ways to Give pages.

How Funds Will Be Used & Future Plans

Funds raised for the hill prairie will go toward the fee-simple acquisition of the property, including the purchase price ($150,000), closing costs, legal and title expenses, and the necessary staff time associated with preserving the property (e.g., coordination, communication, site assessment, etc.). Thus, our goal is $175,000. Any funds raised over the goal amount will be used for future restoration, management, stewardship, access, and administrative expenses associated with the property.

HeartLands Conservancy currently intends to own and protect the property forever (name to be determined). In the future, it may make sense to transfer ownership or stewardship of the property to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) or another conservation land trust in the area. Our immediate goal, however, is to protect the land. We also plan to work on providing public access to the prairie and beautiful view from atop the bluffs in the future.

If you have questions, please contact Mary Vandevord at or Mallory Ketcherside at (618) 566-4451 ex 10. Download the brochure here.

In the unlikely event that we are unable to reach our funding goal for acquisition, HeartLands Conservancy will contact donors directly to either refund their gift or direct it to another critical need at the discretion of the donor.

HeartLands Conservancy is a 501(c) nonprofit conservation land trust serving southern Illinois. Tax id: 37-1273869. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  

Map of the parcel with prairie and limestone glade area outlined

Map of the property in Monroe County, Illinois. The subject parcel is outlined in yellow. The hill prairie area is outlined in a green solid line. The historic limestone glade area is outlined with a dashed lined. Courtesy of Debbie Newman. The property is located at Trout Hollow Road between Bluff Road and D Road, about 1 mile north of Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve in Valmeyer and about 2 miles south of the Eagle Cliff Prairie (Miles Cemetery) Nature Preserve near Waterloo.  

View of Salt Lick Point and Mississippi River Bottom from Trout Hollow Hill Prairie
Trout Hollow Hill Prairie July 2024 with JoAnn Fricke of Clifftop, Anna McAtee of HLC, and Debbie Newman of INPC
Trout Hollow Hill Prairie July 2024


The care and protection of more than 10,000 acres of land in southern Illinois doesn’t happen by accident. People who care about farming, wildlife habitat, cultural heritage, community well-being , and scenic beauty are taking action to make conservation a reality. Join us and a growing network of people and places committed to conserving and improving southern Illinois.