From the Monroe County Clarion: Illinois, the "Prairie State," once was a part of a vast grassland stretching from Indiana to Nebraska, from Texas to Saskatchewan, called the tallgrass prairie.
In 1800, 22 million acres of Illinois were tallgrass prairie and 14 million acres were forest. …
While the place names endure, only remnants of tallgrass prairie live on. In Illinois, only 2,000 acres of original tallgrass prairie remain. But interesting variations, called hill prairies, still festoon the precipitous river bluff tops above the cliff face in Monroe and Randolph counties
Read the full story, "Prairie Patches Small Relics", at the Monroe County Clarion’s web site.