Environmental protection and enhancement
Prairie Crossing’s land was purchased to safeguard its open spaces. 350 of its acres are legally protected from development. Prairie Crossing is part of the Liberty Prairie Reserve, 5,000 acres of publicly and privately held land that includes nature and forest preserves, farms, and trails. At Prairie Crossing itself, greenways have been constructed and housed placed to protect the environment, native vegetation and wildlife of the Midwest. Click here for the next guiding principle, A Healthy Lifestyle.
- Biodiversity, Native Landscaping, and Stormwater Management
- Environmental Management
- Homeowner Composting
- Resident Testimonials
Biodiversity, Native Landscaping, and Stormwater Management
As a conservation community, Prairie Crossing was developed with less than a quarter of the 1,600 units allowed by local zoning, with more than 60% of the site preserved as open space. During the development, landscape architecture and land planning respected the land in multiple ways to honor the Prairie Crossing guiding principle of environmental protection and enhancement. Lake Aldo Leopold epitomizes the many levels of conservation designed into Prairie Crossing, serving as the central detention basin for the overall natural stormwater system; as a habitat consciously designed to support a variety of native wildlife, including five threatened and endangered fish species; and a wonderful recreational amenity for residents. Click here to learn more about biodiversity, native landscaping, and stormwater management in Prairie Crossing.
Each ecological unit of Prairie Crossing’s common areas has a long-term science based management plan. This Environmental Management Plan is submitted to the Prairie Crossing Homeowners Association Board each year by the Liberty Prairie Foundation and provides the framework for stewardship activities undertaken each year. Prairie Crossing’s environmental work is done by contractors as well as volunteers on the Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC), which provides valuable contributions to the restoration and maintenance of the natural areas.
Prairie Crossing residents are encourage to compost through a community-wide composting program. A yard waste wagon is available seasonally along with curbside food waste collection which is offered year-round by the Liberty Prairie Foundation. These materials are composted at the Prairie Crossing Farm and used to enrich the soil in the farm fields. When residents purchase vegetables grown by the Prairie Crossing farmers and compost the veggie scraps they complete the loop between growth, decay, and new growth through the earth’s natural cycles and local food system.
Feedback on the Guiding Principles is gathered annually in a survey. Here are several comments from residents related to this Guiding Principle:
- “Our community’s infrastructure design (swales, wetlands, etc.) have stood us in good stead – no floods at Prairie Crossing.”
- “I’m happy that our wetlands and prairies are not only beautiful but create habitat for wildlife and require less fossil fuels to maintain.”
- “To be a part of a community that actually acts in real ways to improve the environment is very special.”
- “We use conservation activities to foster community.”
- “Prairie Crossing doesn’t only prevent or mitigate degradation but is committed to enhancing the natural environment – our land was once degraded farm land.”