Prairie Crossing

Acclaimed in National Geographic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and honored with more than a dozen conservation awards over the past two decades, Prairie Crossing is truly a national model of Conservation Development.

From the early stages of planning beginning in 1989, AES conducted field studies and led the ecological thinking on the design team led by William Johnson, FASLA, who based much of his vision on maintaining an agrarian, ecological and historical connection to the land.

One of the pioneering, and much-studied, strategies of the native landscape at Prairie Crossing is the treatment of stormwater runoff.  AES designed a series of ecological landscapes to reduce stormwater volumes and associated pollutants through an innovative stormwater management concept that emulates the functions and aesthetics of the historic landscape.

This was the first major installation of the AES Stormwater Treatment TrainTM (STT), a system composed of open swale stormwater conveyance, upland prairie biofiltration, wetlands and a man-made lake. Working in combination, these native landscapes and features have proven highly efficient at pollutant removal through biological and mechanical means while significantly reducing the volume and flow rate of stormwater runoff.

After ground breaking in 1994, the bulk of AES construction and planting activities were accomplished by 1996. AES restored over 200 acres of prairie, wetland and agricultural hedgerow communities that had occupied the site prior to settlement.

Over the past 20+ years, AES has been honored to continue to maintain the health of ecological communities at Prairie Crossing through annual O+M activities.  And we are always pleased to partner with Prairie Crossing staff and residents to tell the story of Conservation Development at educational events focused on ecosystem services.

  • Natural Resource Inventory
  • Ecological Consulting + Design
  • Stormwater Treatment TrainTM Design
  • Permitting + Approvals
  • Education + Outreach
  • Restoration Installation
  • Monitoring + Compliance
  • Operations + Management

Prairie Crossing Conservation Development
Grayslake, Illinois
677 acres

appliedecoPrairie Crossing