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Press Release

May 9, 2018

Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve is now open to the public for hiking, viewing, birding, and getting back to the enjoyment of nature

eBird Hotspot

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Oak Bluff Savanna

Photo Gallery

Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve

May 9, 2018

Now Open to Public

The Peoria Audubon Society is now inviting members and visitors to its conservation properties The Oak Bluff Savanna and Prairie Nature Preserve open for public for birding, hiking, viewing, and the enjoyment of nature.


The Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve is a 22-acre high quality oak woodlands, savanna and hill prairie in Marshall County. It is located about 4 miles southwest of Henry, Illinois; 2 miles west of Route 29 on County Road 1150N. (Google Map) Dozens of warbler species may be found in the preserve during spring and fall migration. Resident birds such as Eastern Bluebird, Indigo Bunting and Baltimore Orioles can be found nesting on the site. Bird Surveys have shown over 150 species of birds utilize this natural area.


The high quality habitats at are listed as protected lands by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission to assist with the protection of high quality natural areas and habitats; in part, for the benefit of endangered  and threatened species. 


A high quality 5-acre hill prairie is located adjacent to the woodlands at the Oak Bluff Savanna.  With over 100 native prairie plant species, the prairie is a critical part of the food web for many species of birds, butterflies, and bees. 


Peoria Audubon Society encourages visitors to record their bird sightings on the property at eBird.org. The Oak Bluff Savanna is listed as a public birding hotspot and is open for:

  • Birding

  • Hiking

  • Enjoyment of Nature

  • eBird Hotspot

  • High biodiversity site for education

Please note that for the long-term conservation of the nature preserve there are a number of restrictions:

  • No camping

  • No fires

  • No hunting

  • No fishing

  • No collecting of plants or seeds.

  • No restroom facilities are available.

Visitors are asked to follow “Leave no Trace” principles for outdoor ethics when visiting Peoria Audubon properties and other natural areas.



History of Oak Bluff Savanna

In 2015, the Peoria Audubon Society, acting as a land trust, accepted the gift of 22 acres of land in Marshall County as part of its efforts to protect high quality habitat along the Illinois River Bluffs ecological corridor.

This gift of high quality oak woodlands, savanna, and hill prairie included a maintenance endowment for future needs. The entire gift is valued at over $100,000.  It includes the Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve, dedicates Illinois State Nature Preserve.  Access to the site is by permission of the Peoria Audubon Society.

Maury Showing Oak Bluff

Located about 4 miles southwest of Henry, Illinois and 2 miles west of Route 29 on County Road 1150 N (Google Map to Oak Bluff), the former owners, Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang worked over 20 years preserving and enhancing the quality of the natural features on the site.  Maury and Emiko’s enhancements included:

  • Hiring a botanist to survey and document the native plants found on the property.  
  • Facilitating a grant from the Midwest Foresters to restore 9 acres of woodlands
  • Received assistance from the State Wildlife Grant system of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, to have a Restoration Ecologist assist in the removal of invasive, non-native plants in the prairie habitats.
  • Restoring 3 acres of former farm ground to a high quality native prairie. 

Emiko Gazing Over Frog Pond

This high quality natural area sits on an important migratory flyway for numerous species of neotropical songbirds as they migrate from their breeding habitat in the north to their wintering grounds in Central and South America.  

  • Dozens of warbler species can be found in the preserve during spring and fall migration.
  • Resident species such as Eastern Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, and Baltimore Orioles are found nesting on the site.  
  • Recent bird surveys show that over 160 species of birds utilize this important natural area; which will be preserved for future generations. 

Registered with Illinois Nature Preserves Commission

On behalf of the residents of Central Illinois, Peoria Audubon Society is fortunate to conserve this important habitat for generations to come. 

Photo Gallery of Oak Bluff Savanna


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