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Funds in place for prairie restoration at GSU

Former Governors State University administrator Bill Dodd  |  Supplied photo

Former Governors State University administrator Bill Dodd | Supplied photo

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Updated: March 13, 2014 3:12AM



Governors State University announced that the Bill Dodd Memorial Prairie Restoration Fund has been fully funded through donations of $29,160.

The prairie restoration will complement the university’s Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, located on campus, according to a GSU press release.

Investment income raised from the principal amount will fund ongoing landscape projects around the sculpture park, the release said. The goal is to restore the natural flora around the park to conditions seen by settlers when they first arrived in the area in the early 19th century.

The fund is named after William H. Dodd, a longtime administrator at Governors State University who played a large role in creating the sculpture park. Dodd also was known for his love of nature, according to the release.

Geoffrey Bates, director and curator for the sculpture park, said restoring the native flora to the area would create a more enriching experience for the sculpture park’s visitors.

“Restoring the area to presettlement conditions creates a unique experience,” Bates said in the release. “When visitors encounter the works of art within the wild of the prairie, it creates a striking contrast between the deliberate and controlled vision of the artists with the natural and wild look of Illinois prairie.”

Bates said additional donations would allow the scope of the restoration to widen.

The university has begun the prairie restoration with two controlled burns to eradicate non-native plant species, the release said. Native plant species will be planted in their place.

Donations for the Bill Dodd Memorial Prairie Restoration Fund are processed through the GSU Foundation. To contribute to the fund, send an email to gbates@govst.edu or call (708) 534-4486.

Governors State University is at 1 University Parkway, University Park.

Staff report



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