Just north of the mouth of the Spoon River is home to a place called Emiquon, one of the most ambitious floodplain restoration projects in the country. Here, where the Spoon and Illinois Rivers meet, The Nature Conservancy and its partners are working to return more than 7,000 acres of corn and soybean fields to amosaic of wetlands, forests and prairie. Ther restored lands and waters once again will nurture rich plant and animal life, providing people recreational and educational opportunities.
Emiquon once was the jewel of the Illinois River, nurturing divers and abundant communities of native plants and animals in the complex system of backwater wetlands and lakes. Hundreds of nearby archeological sites, including Native American villages and ceremonial and burial mounds, are a quiet testimony to the abundant natural resources that supported more than 500 generations of civilization in the area.