The Prairie State

Illinois State Nickname


Restored prairie in Illinois

Restored prairie in McLean County, Illinois; photo by Tim (tlindenbaum) on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

The Prairie State

Illinois is known as The Prairie State. The North American prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth. The grasslands of North America began to form about 20 million years ago, but in some areas up to 99 percent of the prairie has been destroyed (in just the last 125-150 years).

Wildflowers are the jewels of public lands; tread lightly, take only photos and memories - do not pick flowers or dig up plants. Illinois also recognizes a state prairie grass (big bluestem).

Another nickname for Illinois is The Land of Lincoln (which appears on the U.S. Mint's bicentennial commemorative quarter for Illinois).



The U.S. Mint's bicentennial commemorative quarter for Illinois features young Abe Lincoln, an outline of Illinois, the state slogan: "Land of Lincoln," a farm scene, the Chicago skyline, 21 stars, and two captions: "21st State" (Illinois became the 21st state in 1818), and "Century" (public domain image on Wikipedia).

Illinois quarter