Environmental Field Stations
Augustana College owns and manages nearly 600 acres of ecologically significant habitats divided among three field stations in northern Illinois. The mission of the college field stations is to promote the understanding and protection of Illinois native ecosystems through field-based education, research and other scholarly activities.
Acquired in 1991, the 420-acre Green Wing Environmental Laboratory south of Dixon in Lee County is a mosaic of forests, wetlands and grassland remnants, with permanent buildings to house students and faculty during summer classes and field research.
Encompassing 67 acres of upland forests and two high quality hill prairies, the Collinson Ecological Preserve in Milan was purchased from The Nature Conservancy in 1992 with a gift from the Collinson Stone Company. In 2007, the hill prairies were formally dedicated as the Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
The 98-acre Beling Ecological Preserve was a gift to the College from the Earl Beling family in 1998. Located on the north shore of the Rock River at the junction of Rock Island and Moline, this wetlands preserve includes tiny William Carr Island. In the summer of 2010, the Milan beltway bicycle path crossing the west Rock River bridge was completed with a segment crossing the adjacent Beling Preserve, thus providing an alternative to motorized travel in the area.