Nature At The Confluence is a unique urban environmental center situated on 72 acres of greenspace in South Beloit, IL, just across the street from Beloit, WI. Since opening in 2017, staff and volunteers have worked to restore the land back to nature after decades of industry polluting the area. Nature At The Confluence offers free and low-cost programs for all ages throughout the year and their trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. . This preserve sits at the confluence of Turtle Creek, Kelly Creek, and the Rock River.
In their 5-acre reconstructed prairie, you will find a variety of native flower and grass species, including butterfly weed, Indian blanket, black-eyed Susan, sumac, grey-headed coneflower, mountain mint, spiderwort, lupine, and so much more. Birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plenty of mammals use this prairie as shelter to keep their young safe and fed. Countless butterflies, including monarchs, find this prairie to be a safe haven. Staff also raise and release monarchs for educational purposes.
Through many volunteer efforts, such as their Wednesday Work Days, Nature At The Confluence has been able to establish several trails that are accessible year round. With trails so close to the river, you are sure to see and hear a variety of bird species. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a bald eagle! For a map of their trails, visit this link.
Nature At The Confluence recognizes the rich history of Indigenous people that once lived there. In the 1800s, a large Ho-Chunk village known as Ke-Chunk, was located at the confluence of Turtle Creek and the Rock River. Nature At The Confluence honors the Ho-Chunk with the sculpture “Ke-Chunk Ciporoke,” made by Wisconsin Ho-Chunk artist Truman Lowe (1944-2019). Ke-Chunk (“kay-chunk”) means “turtle”, and Ciporoke (“chee-poe-doe-kay”) means “round dwelling” in the Ho-Chunk language. This is a type of home that families would often reside in. The sculpture stands as a reminder of the people that once lived there and seeks to honor Ho-Chunk people past and present who call this place home. For more information about the Ho-Chunk people, please visit this link. If you’d like to learn more about the “Ke-Chunk Ciporoke” sculpture and artist Truman Lowe, please click here.
Watch this video to learn more about Nature At The Confluence:
Nature At The Confluence is located at: 306 Dickop St. South Beloit, IL 61080