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Pembroke, IL 

Pembroke Township, IL, is home to a rare and unique ecosystem known as The Black Oak and Sands Savannah, along with
hundreds of endangered birds, plants, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Where once Black oak savannas flourished around the world, now, less than 1% exists among

the sandy dunes of Pembroke Township. The large dunes, formed nearly 20,000 years ago by the great Kankakee torrent,

dot the landscape. Pembroke has cataloged Bearing Trees or ‘Witness Trees’ dating back 200-300 years.


In collaboration with Federal, State, and private conservation organizations, there is a rush to protect and preserve this ecosystem's last remains from resource extraction and over-development. However, human inhabitants have stewarded the lands for hundreds of years, beginning with the Mounds People, the Indigenous Tribes, and as a terminal stop for migrating African-Americans along the Underground Railroad and escaping the Jim Crowe south. Its history is connected to presidents, infamous villains, wars, and the seat of agricultural commerce and trade for the Midwest territories. For nearly 150 years, it has been oneof the oldest and largest settlements of African-American farmers, cowboys, and artisans in Illinois. Most recently, it has a growing Latinx population, diversifying Pembroke's rich historical and cultural community.  

Why Pembroke?

Pembroke Township, IL

Size: 52.43 sq mi

Population: 2100

Unincorporated Township

County: Kankakee

Supervisor: Sam Payton

About 75 miles Southeast of Chicago

Zip: 60958

Village of Hopkins Park, IL

Size: 4.14 sq mi

Population: 503

Incorporated Village

Mayor: Mark Hodge

Township: Pembroke

County: Kankakee

Zip: 60944 / 60958


The highlighted figure is Kankakee County.

Rooted! The Richness of Land
and Culture
opened in December
2015 at the Pembroke Public
Library. The exhibit was a
collaboration of The Field Museum and community residents to tell the story of Pembroke’s rich natural and cultural heritage. After a year at Lorenzo R. Smith school, where teachers and students incorporated it into their lessons, the exhibit moved to its current home at the Pembroke Library District.

Click picture for Quality of Life Report.

Click picture for Case Study.

Click picture for Sustainability Plan.

Click picture for Rodeo information.

Rooted! Exhibit

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