About Pleasant Prairie
They say ‘it takes a village” to raise a family. Since its incorporation in 1989, the Village of Pleasant Prairie has worked diligently to make our vibrant community both visually and personally appealing. It’s no accident that even the industrial areas of Pleasant Prairie have a homey sort of feel. Our location along Interstate 94, midway between Milwaukee and Chicago, offers easy and convenient access to Pleasant Prairie making it a must to visit.
Pleasant Prairie is as rich in history as it is natural splendor. The beauty of the exquisite locale remains evident in Chiwaukee Prairie and Kenosha Sand Dunes which preserve the environmental condition of land in premodern times. The later site of this Village served as a campsite for Native Americans along Lake Michigan, and the well-preserved archaeological traces of their habitation still serve as some of the earliest evidence of human settlement in what is now the state of Wisconsin. Later, pioneers arrived using the Jambeau Trail and created the settlement which would become Pleasant Prairie.
Within the Village, the 27-acre site known as Momper’s Woods is home to the Jambeau Trail, which was dedicated in 2001 as a permanent nature preserve. Formed by receding ice of the last ice-age the Jambeau Trail, which extends from Chicago, IL to Green Bay, WI, likely had its beginning as a prehistoric path along a glacial moraine. Animals such as deer and elk would have first traversed this historic trail, followed by Native Americans, and later still, in the 1800s, early settlers. A plaque on a large glacial boulder, which was unearthed in the early 1990s as a result of the widening of Green Bay Road, marks the trail.
The area continued its development from a collection of agrarian hamlets to a thriving Village throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th. Pleasant Prairie served as a stop on Chicago Northwestern rail line as well as other train routes until the 1860s. It was also the location of the Pleasant Prairie Powder Plant which exploded in 1911. Some traces of this and other colorful history lay just beneath the surface now. The former location of the powder plant is now the site of a ballpark and several homes.
Several Pleasant Prairie historical buildings are still standing. The Williams Congregational Church where the first town meeting convened in 1842 is now a religious bookstore. The municipal building which was constructed in the 1960s to serve as the seat of town government, auditorium, and fire station has since been renovated and expanded.
In 1984, Pleasant Prairie entered into an agreement with the nearby city of Kenosha to preserve certain areas of the town against annexation and in 1989 incorporated as a village. At this point, the village worked with Wispark Corporation to construct the Lakeview Corporate Park, which provided contemporary infrastructure for businesses and employed more than 8,000 people.
As Pleasant Prairie continues to thrive, the Village has dedicated itself to providing housing options that meet the diverse needs of citizens, as well as providing multiple transportation options that include pathways for pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles. Investment in preserving natural land is also a priority in this Village. In coordination with Kenosha County, the state of Wisconsin and the Army Corps of Engineers, land is being acquired for the sake of prairie land conservation.
Today, Pleasant Prairie is a bustling community employing over 10,000 people. The Village benefits from its ready access to the beauty of the natural prairies and Lake Michigan in addition to green urban spaces which encapsulate the meadows, rich marshland, and freshwater that characterize its geographical location. At the same time, Pleasant Prairie provides the ideal jumping-off point for thrilling urban attractions like the RecPlex, the largest municipal recreation facility in North America, Six Flags Great America, and the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Pleasant Prairie also currently functions as a hub for distribution and manufacturing - serving as the Midwest's tourist destination for the Jelly Belly Warehouse tour and the future site of the North American headquarters and experience center for Haribo.
The Pleasant Prairie Convention and Visitors Bureau extends a warm welcome to all visitors and is happy to provide assistance with leisure, group, meeting and event planning.