Midewin in Wilmington to participate in Bison Crawl

A mother bison and her spring calf graze in the tallgrasses at the USDA Forest Service’s Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Celebrate America’s National Mammal in the 3rd annual Bison Crawl, which will include a virtual cross-country bison expedition to Montana, local interpretive displays and activities and more. USDA FS / Midewin NTP Photo by Rick Short.



On National Bison Day this year there will be more ways than ever to celebrate bison, which are America’s National Mammal. The popular annual local area Bison Crawl will expand this year to include a special virtual visit to Ulm, Montana, to what is thought to be the largest known buffalo jump in North America – First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park in Ulm, Montana. The USDA Forest Service’s Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will host a virtual “Cross-Country Bison Expedition” from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 – National Bison Day.

Travel along with us and learn on this interpretive virtual interstate bison excursion. In Montana, we will also visit the USDA Forest Service’s Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls to hear about legendary explorers Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark and their ties to bison. Back in Illinois, we will go to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and learn why there are bison helping to restore land where the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant once operated. We will remotely track staff with the Forest Preserve District of Will County as they check in with us by mobile devices while looking for the bison herd along Route 66.

To register for the virtual Cross-Country Bison Expedition, email SM.FS.Midewin_RSVP@usda.gov or call 815-423-6370.

There is also a digital map of the local area Bison Crawl sites where there will be in-person or virtual interpretive programs celebrating bison. The link to the map can be found at www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1d7WsivbCWcMEK8yS1tU4lDH6EpeVM8Gl&ll=40....

Among the sites along the Bison Crawl path, there are six local public libraries with temporary bison spotlights that feature library staff picks of books and activity sheets about bison, as well as replica items on loan from Midewin NTP. There are replica jaw bones with bison teeth; a mold of a bison hoof print and more.

The six libraries are:

  • Wilmington Public Library District
  • Aurora Public Library District on Eola Road
  • Joliet Public Library District on Black Road
  • Three Rivers Public Library District in Channahon
  • White Oak Library District in Crest Hill
  • White Oak Library District in Romeoville