Hosah Park is a secluded, small ecological sanctuary that is located at the southern tip of Illinois State Beach Park. This sanctuary is difficult to get to because of the dismantling project of the Zion Nuclear Power Plant and the restricted roads for authorized personal only leading to this sanctuary. The best route is to walk from Illinois Beach State Park South Unit down the shore line.
Ramsar designation. Hosah Park is one of the 38 Ramsar designated sites in U.S.A. The Ramsar convention was crafted in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran to protect wetlands. Since its inception, there are 2,279 Ramsar sites in 169 different countries throughout the world. Hosah earned this designation as it supports a habitat that is unique to Illinois. This habit consists of the combination of dunes and a wetland. Dunes are formed by the movement of sand pushed around by the waves and the wind. The wetlands (in this situation) are beyond the dunes and are inland. The wetlands are also commonly referred to as marshes or swamps; however, what makes this wetland and dune area special is at the ecotone (transition between biological areas). In the depressions of the dunes forms diverse plant life and wildlife because of the rich soils of the wetlands. This type of habitat is rare and therefore under protection by the Ramsar designation.
Nuclear Power Station. Sadly, this park is located right next to the Zion nuclear power station. This power station was deactivated in 1998. Today, the power plant is undergoing a deconstruction cycle with the predicted time to be finished, according to a Chicago Tribune article in 2015, around 2018. An article by World Nuclear News, in October of 2016, reports that “the decommissioning effort is currently 88% complete.” Soon the plant will be decommissioned and the nuclear waste will be removed from the site, therefore, returning the Lake Michigan shore line to Zion. This also allows the unique plant life to grow and dunes to form.
What to do while at Hosah Park? There is no swimming or boating allowed on the beach. Dogs are not allowed on the beach but are welcome on the trails. The trails are great for walking and biking on. Make sure to stay on the paths in order not to disturb the wildlife. The park is open from dawn to dusk. Other forms of passive recreation are welcome and encouraged at the park.
Funding for this project was provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources