Imagine that you are in the midst of a long journey, your eyelids are heavy, your legs are stiff, and you desperately need a break. But what do you do if there’s nowhere to stop?

From Canadian rivers up north to the Gulf of Mexico down south, our region sits squarely within the 3,000+ mile Mississippi Flyway, which is used by over 300 species of birds as they migrate. These birds are looking for exactly that—a place to rest and refuel.

Species, like the Blackpoll Warbler (pictured above), depend on floodplain forest blocks for migration stops, while native birds, like the Eastern Whip-poor-will, rely on these rich, leafy woodlands to breed.

As the climate crisis and haphazard development continue to encroach on natural areas, disrupting ecosystems through dramatic shifts in seasonal temperatures – hello, false spring – it is more important than ever to protect our region’s natural resources for wildlife.

Floodplain forests throughout southern Illinois must remain connected for animals to thrive – these established forests, like the largest block in the state along the Kaskaskia River, help to offset carbon and reduce warming, ultimately making the many types of birds and other animals found in the Mississippi Flyway less vulnerable by ensuring secure food sources and safe habitat for reproduction.

We are working to conserve more wildlife havens throughout the region. As your local conservation non-profit, we rely heavily on donor and volunteer support to preserve, manage, and steward these important places.

Eastern Whippoorwill

Eastern Whippoorwill