Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Nature Preserve


The Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Nature Preserve encompasses 640 acres – one square mile – within the Raven’s Nest Nature Preserve. It provides much-needed refuge to black-tailed prairie dogs and their associated wildlife, including badgers, coyotes, ferruginous hawks, pronghorn, and many others. SPLT owns and directly manages this property.

Generous financial support from Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz made the permanent protection of this preserve possible. 

The Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Nature Preserve has robust plant communities, especially the blue grama and buffalograss community that is the backbone of the shortgrass prairie. The shortgrass prairie includes stunningly beautiful flowers, including the ten-petaled mentzelia, pictured at left. Other colorful and attractive plants found on this preserve are Prince’s plume, blackfoot daisy, scarlet gaura, prickly poppy, and the multi-colored blooms of the prickly pear.

See full plant list on our Meet the Residents page.

Native wildlife abounds on the Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Nature Preserve. Black-tailed prairie dogs, pictured at right, are a keystone species, creating habitat and providing prey for a wide variety of associated wildlife, including swift foxes, ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls, and mountain plovers – all of whom are imperiled due to historic declines in prairie dogs. But on the Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Nature Preserve, prairie dogs are fully protected and able to perform their crucial ecological roles. There are also seasonal ponds and washes on the preserve that fill up with summer rains, providing habitat for great blue herons, American coots, and other aquatic birds. 

See full animal list on our Meet the Residents page.

Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz’s spent their first date bird watching in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. To be closer to wildlife, the now-married couple transformed their suburban back yard from lawn into an urban prairie. Inspired by The Journals of Lewis and Clark and The Oregon Trail (Frances Parkman), the two committed to helping the beleaguered prairie dog, principally through their support of the Southern Plains Land Trust. After retiring from practicing law, the two attorneys co-authored The Midwestern Native Garden, Midwestern Native Shrubs and Treesand Prairie Directory of North American, US, Canada & Mexico, Second Edition.

The photo at left shows Charlotte and Bernard visiting a 2016 prescribed prairie fire at the 2-acre Wilmette Centennial Park Prairie founded by Charlotte in 2010 with help from local boy scouts. The colorful and fragrant tallgrass urban prairie is sited in and around a park district rain water detention basin. Located between two heavily trafficked major streets, the prairie nonetheless provides a safe and serene home for its nesting birds, Lepidoptera, grasshoppers, dragonflies, fireflies, at-risk specialist bees, other pollinators, and prairie plants, including some Illinois endangered species.


Raven’s Nest Nature Preserve

The Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Nature Preserve is within the Raven’s Nest Nature Preserve. Established in 2013 and expanded in 2015, Raven’s Nest covers nearly 5,000 acres (almost 7.5 square miles). It is located near SPLT’s Heartland Ranch. It includes rolling shortgrass prairie, seasonal creeks and gullies, a several mile perennial stretch of Rule Creek, and gorgeous Dakota sandstone outcroppings. The property provides homes for a variety of herptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and native plants. There are prairie dog populations that attract coyotes, swift foxes, ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls, and many other creatures. The streams sustain plains leopard frogs, tiger salamanders, dragonflies, shorebirds, and other water-dwellers. A variety of lizards, toads, skinks, and snakes, and the western ornate box turtle use the rock outcroppings and other habitats throughout the preserve. The preserve was named after the Chihuahuan ravens who have multiple nests on the property.

Contact Us:

Southern Plains Land Trust
P.O. Box 1016, Lamar, CO 81052

Special thanks to SPLT photographers!
Meet our Photographers here.

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