and Floyd Swink have collaborated for decades to save and
restore the remnants of Illinois’ once vast prairies. It all
began in 1959 when Swink, a leading authority on prairie plants,
introduced Betz to the Santa Fe Prairie. Their dynamic
leadership has inspired hundreds of volunteers and
conservationists to preserve our remaining prairies.
As a child in
Chicago, Betz (left) imagined that vacant lots were prairies. At
Santa Fe Prairie he learned what constituted a true prairie.
Amazed by the variety of plants found here, Betz dedicated his
work to the study of native prairies.
educator, Swink (right) also co-authored Plants of the
Chicago Region, which catalogs native prairie plants in the
area. His work has formed the basis for preserving Northeastern
Illinois’ natural ecosystems.