Learn about Putnam County’s hidden natural treasure

Free virtual program explores the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge

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LA SALLE - Did you know that Putnam County is home to one of only 41 designated Wetlands of International Importance in the United States? Learn all about this former plot of farmland on Tuesday, March 23 when the LaSalle Public Library virtually hosts ecologist, Anna Braum and site manager, Rick Seibert. Their program, “Dixon Waterfowl Refuge: A Hidden Illinois Treasure” will be presented via Zoom beginning at 6 p.m.

Owned and managed by the non-profit Wetlands Initiative, the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, is one of the Illinois River Valley’s hidden treasures. Located south of the Village of Hennepin in Putnam County, the 3,000-acre refuge was drained and farmed for corn and soybeans for nearly a century. Beginning in 2001, the Wetlands Initiative began restoring the land to the diverse backwater lakes and natural wetlands, prairie and savanna habitats that once occupied the land. Today, the refuge attracts thousands of migratory waterfowl in the spring and fall seasons. 

In this virtual presentation, Braum and Seibert will share how the refuge was restored and the rich variety of plants, birds and wildlife that are now found in this local natural area.

Braum, an ecologist with the Wetlands Initiative, focuses her work on promoting the recovery of Illinois’ diverse natural ecosystems. She designs and monitors prairie, savanna and wetland restorations at project sites including the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge and Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

Seibert, a longtime resident of Putnam County, has been full-time site manager at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge since 2002. Previously, he was the pumping station engineer with the Hennepin Drainage and Levee District for 18 years.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link.  To register for this program online and receive the Zoom link, go to https://bit.ly/3d4Sllr. Those who prefer to connect to the program using an iPad or smartphone, need more information, or have questions, please call the Library at (815) 223-2341.