Denise and Ernest Walker Memorial Prairie Grove


As a memorial to Denise and Ernie Walker, we plan to restore the wetland prairie savannah at the south end of Meadowbrook Park and name it in their honor.  Anyone wishing to donate to this project may send contributions to:


The Denise and Ernest Walker Memorial Fund

Urbana Park District

303 W. University Avenue

Urbana, Illinois   61801


The restoration area is known as Prairie Grove.  It is approximately fifteen acres in size (twelve acres to be savanna prairie plus some surrounding ground to protect the restoration and provide screening of adjacent properties).  This is the final parcel designated for prairie restoration in the park master plan.  The site is currently dominated by old-field goldenrod and has seen little restoration work to date.  The ten-foot swath adjacent to the trail has been planted in prairie and a few oaks have additionally been planted in the area.  The wetland pocket west of the pump station has also been supplemented by periodic wetland plantings.  The remaining area is a typical old-field community consisting of opportunistic vegetation. 


The restoration will include initial seedbed prep, seeding to provide a native and diverse plant community, planting of shrubs and trees, and after-care to maintain the area.  It will also include the additional restoration of the south bordering shrub line, which is currently dominated by invasive bush honeysuckle and the stream corridor, which is similarly (but to a lesser extent) troubled by invasive brush.  The project also calls for the planting of red cedar to screen the pump station, white pine to screen residences to the south, and additional native shrubs throughout to further enhance habitat for shrub-dependent bird species.  Finally, it will include interpretive signage in addition to the dedication name sign for the Denise and Ernest Walker Memorial.  The interpretative signs will explain the significance of wetland and savanna ecosystems. 


Project Elements:

Preparation and Seeding

wet prairie (1 acre)

wet savanna (0.5 acre)

wet mesic prairie (6 acres)

wet mesic savanna (0.5 acre)

mesic prairie (4 acres)

stream corridor (1 acre)

back edge (2 acres)

Invasive Species Control


Trees & Shrubs        

bur oak (2)

swamp white oak (2)

white pine (20)

downy hawthorn (4)

hazelnut (20)

staghorn sumac (6)

american plum (20)

white pine (screen, 20)

red cedar (screen, 20)