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Supporting Local Foods & Open Space

Amber Patrick

The Prairie Land Conservancy will host its 2nd Annual Extending the Prairie Table Fundraising Dinner.

It begins Sunday, October 6, 3:30 pm, with “sips and nibbles” along with live music at Shiloh’s Bar and Bistro on Macomb’s Courthouse Square. Dinner will begin at 5:00 pm.

The menu will feature locally produced foods and beverages.

“I believe that people here in Macomb like to support local produce, local farms, local chefs,” said Amber Patrick, program assistant for the Conservancy.

“I think it’s important for people to know that what they’re being served is locally sourced.”

She said last year’s dinner sold out. Tickets are still available for this year’s event by calling the Prairie Land Conservancy at 309-833-4747.

The Prairie Land Conservancy is a charitable land conservancy organization serving ten west central Illinois counties.

Executive Director Dave King said the group works to protect wildlife habitat, open space, wetlands, and farm grounds through conservation easements.

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Even though the western Illinois landscape features a lot of open space, King said much of it contains corn and beans.

“It’s pretty much a monoculture, and a lot of wildlife habitat has been lost over the years,” King said, adding even more has been lost as corn and soybean prices have increased.

He said the easements agreed upon between the organization and landowners are for “perpetuity plus one day” to prevent construction of subdivisions, shopping malls, and other development. In addition, the land cannot be divided off.