Event Details

Location: Franklin Grove, IL

This event has reached capacity and registration is no longer available.


Saturday, May 4, 2019
10:30 am

$35 per current Cornell Botanic Gardens member
$45 per person general attendees
Limited to 16 attendees.

You are invited for a special VIP Behind the Scenes tour of The Nature Conservancy’s Nachusa Grasslands Preserve with Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Director of Natural Areas, Todd Bittner. Here, The Nature Conservancy protects and manages 3,800 acres of original and restored prairie, dozens of rare species, and a thriving reintroduced bison herd. The trip will include guided access to see over 100 bison and newborn calves from within a fenced paddock and learn about bison and the reintroduction effort.

Todd Bittner directs the Natural Areas Program for Cornell Botanic Gardens, overseeing 40 different natural areas on and off-campus that are the living laboratories and outdoor classrooms of Cornell. Prior to joining the Gardens, Todd was a biologist in Illinois and worked closely with Nachusa Grasslands for over 15 years on research, conservation, and protection efforts.

This exclusive tour will take place at Nachusa Grasslands, located in Franklin Grove, IL and requires an approximate 2-hour drive (depends on your starting location). Please factor this drive into the following schedule:

10:30 am – Arrive Nachusa Visitor Center, 2075 South Lowden Road, Franklin Grove. Nachusa and Cornell Botanic Gardens Natural Areas Program introduction by Todd Bittner. Tour the Visitor’s Center and take a short hike through the prairie with possible bison viewing from a distance.

12:00 to 12:30 pm – Lunch. Box lunches at Visitors Center; please indicate all dietary restrictions on the registration page.

12:45 to 3:00 pm – Guided bison tour. Guided tour with 2 trucks (seating inside the cab and in the beds on benches).

3:30 pm – Depart or tour on your own (outside of bison paddock).

Please dress appropriately for the weather, as the event will take place rain or shine. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended for some limited off trail hiking.
Additional details on location can be found here:

For event questions, please contact Sonja Watkins Kelly at swk5@cornell.edu.
For event registration questions, please contact Donna Carl at dc37@cornell.edu.

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