The National Forest Foundation, which funded $5 million in prairie habitat restoration at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, north of Wilmington, in 2010, was back at the former Joliet arsenal property a week ago to announce another major funding initiative.

"Our mission is to engage Americans in stewardship and in visiting our National Forest sites," said Mary Mitsos, executive vice president of the foundation, which launched a $100 million, nationwide "Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences" program in 2010.

Midewin is among the 14 sites selected "because it is one of the unique sites the Forest Service manages and the tallgrass prairie is vanishing — less than one-tenth of 1 percent is left," she said. "It is a habitat more at risk than the Amazon rainforest because there is less of it left."

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