Nieman Marsh Preserve

The Natural Land Institute purchased the marsh and wet meadows in 2006 with funds from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and the Anderson Family Foundations. In 2008, we restored four acres of prairie along the northern boundary of the property with volunteer assistance from an adjoining neighbor.

Nieman Marsh is spring fed with natural communities that include wet prairie, sedge meadow and deep marsh. Local bird experts know the area as one of the natural gems of our region. The shallow and deep wetlands are critical for migrating waterfowl, and they provide habitat for birds such as sandhill crane, American bittern, least bittern and short-eared owl.

The bright yellow flowers of marsh marigolds can be seen here in the spring, and blue flag iris adds color from late spring to midsummer. Native plants such as Culvers root, arrowhead, sedges, milkweeds and asters provide refuge for amphibians, reptiles and other wildlife.

Nieman Marsh is adjacent to other natural areas, increasing the preserves significance. Nearby are the Pecatonica River Forest Preserve, the Torstenson Family Hunting Heritage Center and private properties enrolled in conservation programs. Combined, these sites protect an area in excess of 1,300 acres.

This is a private preserve. Natural Land Institute members may visit with permission. Please call 815/964-6666 or email to request a visit and let us know when you would like to go there.


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Access is limited. Please do not use Cox Road, because it is a private drive.

For permission to visit, Call or Email: 815.964.6666 or

  • Drive west on US Hwy 20 from Rockford/li>
  • Turn North (right) on Hoisington Road,
  • Turn West (left) on Saunders Road (after about two miles)
  • Turn Right on Telegraph Road (after about a half mile)
  • The preserve is on the North (left) side of Telegraph Road about a quarter mile past Cox Road.

Bird List

The following birds have been recorded at the Nieman Marsh Preserve:

    • Pied-billed Grebe
    • American Bittern +
    • Least Bittern +
    • Great Blue Heron
    • Great Egret
    • Green Heron
    • Canada Goose
    • Wood Duck
    • Green-winged Teal
    • Mallard
    • Blue-winged Teal
    • Turkey Vulture
    • Northern Harrier +
    • Red-tailed Hawk
    • Rough-legged Hawk
    • American Kestrel
    • Ring-necked Pheasant
    • Wild Turkey
    • King Rail*
    • Virginia Rail
    • Sora
    • American Coot
    • Sandhill Crane *
    • Killdeer
    • Lesser Yellowlegs
    • Solitary Sandpiper
    • Spotted Sandpiper
    • Wilson’s Snipe
    • Black Tern
    • Rock Dove
    • Mourning Dove
    • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
    • Great Horned Owl
    • Barred Owl
    • Short-eared Owl *
    • Common Nighthawk
    • Chimney Swift
    • Belted Kingfisher
    • Downy Woodpecker
    • Northern (yellow-shafted) Flicker
    • Willow Flycatcher
    • Least Flycatcher
    • Eastern Phoebe
    • Great Crested Flycatcher
    • Eastern Kingbird

* Nesting State, Endangered Species Confirmed
+ Species of Special Concern and Interest/Threatened Nesting not Confirmed, but birds present

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