ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Soil from the Bell Bowl Prairie will be moved before the expansion project at the Chicago Rockford International Airport.

The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County says the airport agreed to set aside the top layer of prairie soil.

That soil is said to have roots, seed, fungi, and microorganisms that will help restore the prairie at nearby Cedar Cliff.

Work is expected to begin next week.

Over the past year and a half, the Natural Land Institute has tried to stop the airport’s expansion on to the land, claiming digging it up and adding a road through the prairie would harm the endangered Rusty Patch Bumble Bee.

Earlier this week, the Federal Aviation Administration ruled RFD retained more than 6 acres of the prairie land, and then a federal court denied a motion by NLI to halt work on the project.